Dodgers: Yimi Garcia Down to His Final Life With the Dodgers
The Dodgers’ bullpen is mostly set entering spring training especially after they added Joe Kelly. One player who is out of options and fighting for his “Dodger life” is Yimi Garcia.
Unlike a year ago, the Dodgers entered the spring with their bullpen mostly set. Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez, Dylan Floro, Ross Stripling, and Tony Cingrani figure to be among the relievers who are a lock to make the Dodgers’ opening day bullpen. The last few spots in the bullpen will be sorted out through a spring training competition.
One reliever who will need to make the team out of spring training or be placed on waivers is Yimi Garcia. The twenty-eight year old was a once promising young reliever but after multiple arm ailments including Tommy John surgery at the end of 2016, he is now out of options and will need to have a strong spring.
Yimi broke into the big leagues in 2014 and in 2015 he posted a solid season for the Dodgers holding the opposition to a .209 average while pitching to a 3.34 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. He also struck out 68 batters in only 56 plus innings. When healthy, Yimi Garcia features a mid 90’s fastball with plenty of tailing action. Stuff has never been a question with Yimi, it’s been a matter of putting it all together.
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Last season, Garcia struggled to a 5.64 ERA and the opposition hit .305 against him. While his stuff looked to be back to form, the results were not and he was tagged for seven home runs in just over twenty innings. It’s worth noting that Yimi was a part of the Dodgers’ combined no hitter in Mexico last season as he pitched a perfect eighth inning striking out two Padre hitters. However, that was the only highlight he produced in 2018.
With the Oklahoma City Dodgers last year, Yimi had stellar control as he allowed no walks in fourteen innings but once again struggled to get good results. Now Garcia’s journey with the Dodgers could be entering it’s final stage. If he is put on waivers there will likely be at least a couple teams willing to give him a chance since his stuff has always been above average.
The once promising young reliever must have a dominant spring training or his time with the Dodgers could be over. If Yimi does have a stellar spring then that will likely be enough for the Dodgers to send someone with options left down to the minors to give Yimi a shot on the big league roster. If he struggles then he will get lost in the mix with all the great arms the Dodgers have competing for a bullpen spot.