After missing all of 2017 while still recovering from Tommy John surgery and not yet fully healthy the following year, Yimi Garcia looked to get back on track and play a key role for the Los Angeles Dodgers this past season.
Garcia was dominant at the start of Spring Training and wound up earning a spot in the bullpen when the Dodgers set their Opening Day roster. The decision didn’t come as much of a surprise considering he was out of options.
If the Dodgers were ever to attempt to remove Garcia from their active roster, they would risk losing him via waivers. It’s perhaps with that he remained with the Dodgers throughout the season despite taking his share of lumps along the way.
Garcia sported a sub-3.00 ERA in June, July and August, but continued to be hamstrung by the home run ball. He surrendered 15 over 62.1 innings pitched, which was the third-highest home runs allowed per nine innings among qualified relief pitchers.
The long ball essentially offset the fact that Garcia held opponents to a .178 batting average and had 66 strikeouts against 14 walks. He finished the year 1-4 with three blown saves, a 3.61 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.
After allowing two runs in a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 11, Garcia next pitched two days later and started a streak of 8.2 hitless innings over eight games. He collected eight strikeouts, walked two batters and hit one during that streak.
Although Garcia managed to get through the entire season with the Dodgers, he was non-tendered last week and immediately became a free agent. If Garcia’s time with the Dodgers has come to an end, he posted a 3.66 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 166 strikeouts across 159.2 innings over parts of five seasons with the team.
At minimum, he should manage to sign a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to Spring Training and another opportunity at redemption.
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