In 2015 and the start of 2016, Yimi Garcia was an essential part of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen. Unfortunately, early into the 2016 season, he went down with an elbow injury and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery that kept him out the rest of that year and all of 2017.
Garcia was able to prove he was healthy during Spring Training in 2018, but it came as no surprise when he started the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City to get some more innings under his belt.
He received the call back up to the big leagues at the beginning of May, and then for the remainder of the season proceeded to go back and forth between Triple-A and the Majors, with a disabled list stint mixed in as well.
Coming off Tommy John surgery and returning to your previous form is not easy, and Garcia was not able to do that this season. He appeared in 25 games for the Dodgers, pitching to a 5.64 ERA, 6.34 FIP and 1.48 WHIP while striking out 19 and walking four in 22.1 innings.
The 28-year-old was a bit better at the Triple-A level, yielding a 4.30 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 14 games. He struck out 14 without issuing a walk in 14.2 innings.
Not much was expected of Garcia going into the season, so him proving that he was healthy and capable of pitching at the big league level was a positive for the Dodgers moving forward.
Garcia did not fare that well overall for the Dodgers, but he was a big part of one of the most memorable moments of the season. On May 4 in Monterrey, Mexico, the Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres, 4-0.
The win was a memorable one because the team pitched a no-hitter, which was the first of the combined variety in franchise history. Rookie Walker Buehler tossed the first six innings before giving way to Tony Cingrani, who pitched a hitless seventh.
Garcia then pitched the eighth, retiring all three hitters he faced with two strikeouts, and Adam Liberatore closed it out with a perfect ninth.
Garcia is arbitration-eligible going into the 2019 season and was tendered a contract by the Dodgers before Friday’s deadline. He will go into Spring Training with an opportunity to win a spot on the Major League roster, although it will take an impressive spring to do so given how his 2018 season went.