Monday, April 30, 2012
NEW YORK—Freddy Garcia has been dispatched to the Yankees’ bullpen, and rookie David Phelps will have an opportunity to pitch out of the club’s rotation.
Garcia was battered by the Tigers for six runs in 1 2/3 innings on Saturday in a 7-5 Yankees loss, the second straight start Garcia only recorded five outs, and the change did not come as a shock to the hurler.
“When you’re pitching [poorly] out of the rotation, what do you expect?” Garcia said. “When you don’t do your job, what are they supposed to do? That’s what happened. They’re honest. I didn’t pitch the way I was supposed to pitch. It’s reality.”
I don’t think Garcia’s as bad as he’s looked so far this year, and his peripherals generally agree. Repeated from yesterday’s game thread.
Garcia 2011: 15.3% K/BF, 7.2% BB/BF, 4.36 xFIP, 87.2 mph average fastball velocity
Garcia 2012: 15.7% K/BF, 7.1% BB/BF, 3.95 xFIP, 87.0 mph average fastball velocity
Unfortunately, there’s also this:
Garcia 2011: .292 BABIP against, 22.3% LD, 8.2% HR/FB, 77.1% LOB
Garcia 2012: .440 BABIP against, 42.3% LD, 23.1% HR/FB, 41.0% LOB
I get the feeling that Garcia will get another chance to start at some point, and will probably do ok if he does. That being said, I think removing him from the rotation for now is the right thing to do, moreso to see what the Yankees have in David Phelps, but also to give Garcia a chance to regroup.
As far as what the Yankees have in Phelps, I have no idea. He’s pitched pretty well this year, but that’s the extent of his MLB resume. His projections are all based on translating his minor league numbers and have huge error bars because of that. Rather than rehash those, I’ll. just point you to his pre-season projections.
If all we knew about Phelps was what he’d done as a reliever at the big league level (17.2 IP of 3.57 ERA), we could try and fudge how that would translate to a starter. In general, a reliever who moves to the rotation will be about 15-20% less effective. Hits, homers and runs will go up by 15-20%, strike outs will drop by about the same rate. Walk rate stays pretty stable. If you were to use his performance so far to project him as a starter and reliever, it’d look something like this.
The problem here is that it’s probably not realistic to think Phelps can hold hitters to a .178 BABIP all year. FIP has him at 5.66 and xFIP has him at 4.09. Splitting the difference puts him at around 4.87. That’s a hair better than his average ERA projection heading into the year, and although it’s not great, it’s better than what they’ve gotten out of Garcia at least. And Phil Hughes, for that matter.
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