Yimi Garcia: Possible Diamond in the Rough?


The Dodgers seem to have a knack for finding effective, under-the-radar relievers. Last year it was Dylan Floro, the year before it was Brandon Morrow, and in 2016 it was a workhorse in Joe Blanton.  This year the Dodgers diamond in the rough reliever very well may be Yimi Garcia.

Garcia signed as an amateur free agent in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic and climbed through the system relatively quickly, making his major league debut on September 1, 2014 against the Washington Nationals. He threw two full innings, giving up a hit to Bryce Harper and recording his first strikeout against Anthony Rendon.

Garcia showed that he had decent control in his first year as a Dodger, walking less than a batter per nine. He appeared in eight games and allowed two runs over 10 innings. His early claim to fame was having the highest spin rate of all the pitchers on the Los Angeles staff.

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The following year, Yimi had 59 appearances which included one start, ending with a record of 3-5 and an ERA of 3.34. In 2016, he was shut down with right bicep soreness and ended up being out for the season after another setback on July 29. In September, Garcia had arthroscopic surgery on his knee and in October underwent UCL surgery. Despite missing all of 2017, the Dodgers signed Yimi to a one-year $630,000 contract, avoiding arbitration.

In 2018, Garcia had it pretty rough going 0-2 with a 5.64 ERA, seemingly having lost his pinpoint control. One bright spot in a dark year for Yimi was being a part of a combined no hitter in Mexico, pitching the 8th inning of that game.

2019 was definitely rough at the beginning with an ERA above 10. After a rocky start, Yimi seems to be getting settled, finding the command that he seemed to have lost early. Aside from a couple of rough outings recently, Yimi has been throwing the ball well over the past 15 games he has pitched, allowing four runs over 16 innings, striking out 13 and walking only four with a 2.25 ERA during that time, bringing his overall ERA down to a much more respectable 4.76.

If Garcia can maintain his control and keep his slider working as they have been, he has a good shot at being this year’s version of the Dodgers’ Diamond in the Rough.


41 thoughts on “Yimi Garcia: Possible Diamond in the Rough?

  1. Command is the key for him. He was throwing gas the other night 96-97 but then comes back next appearance and walks his first batter and Roberts yanked him. I agree with you John. I think there’s potential there

    1. Huh? His WHIP is 1.015. That’s with a horrible outing and it’s excellent. I’ve been trying to tell you guys for months that Yimi got it going on.

      Gut doctor ad is back.

    1. Right now is the key phrase there. He’s earning his money, that’s for sure.

      Bullpen looked good last night.

  2. These commentators sometime live in a fantasy world. Yummy Garcia is no Sal Maglie, no Clem Labine. Never was, never wil be.

    1. Sal Maglie is exactly who I would have compared him to. 🙂
      What made you pull him out of the bag?

      1. I’ll let you get away with Labine since he was a longtime Dodger reliever, but Maglie was a starter who spent most of his career with the hated Giants. Sorry, he’s disqualified for the purposes of your comment. You’ll have to come up with another name.

    2. Clem Labine? You mean, 100+ innings of relief? No, he’s not that. But then, nobody in today’s game is. He does however throw much harder with a much higher spin rate than Labine,

      Clem Labine. Man, that’s going back. I saw him pitch in the Coliseum. He was well past his prime by then.

    1. He will probably be worth extending….. probably. But next year he’s 33, and he does have a history of injury. I won’t be surprised if Friedman moves on from him. Actually I won’t be surprised either way, but if extended, it won’t be for very long. Not at 33 with his history.

      1. Probably? Are you serious? What else does he need to do to warrant an extension? Does he need to throw no hitters each time he steps on the mound? If AF gave Hill 3 years when he was 36 there should be no hesitation giving Ryu 4 years at 32. He’s not a power pitcher, even though I saw him hit 93 a couple times last night, so age really won’t matter as much. If you can get him for 4 years $85 million you do it.

      2. At 4/85 he signs immediately and takes Friedman to dinner. It shouldn’t take that much. Maybe 3/60 if he continues this way (or close to it) for the rest of the year. If he slides a little (which is to be expected), 3/50-55.

      3. Your opinion is well known Alex.

        To answer your question – “what else does he need to do to warrant an extension” …. the answer is obvious …. finish the year without going on the IL.

  3. By the way, I wanted to mention, that’s an excellent chart you posted John. Where did you find that? I’d like to see more sinkers (2 seamers) thrown for strikes, but it appears he favors the slider. That chart is for his entire career so I’m curious how these numbers may have changed since his UCL surgery.

  4. You have to account for the Boras factor Jeff. He’s going to do all he can to max his value. If he really were to accept 3/$60 it would be a steal.

    1. I’d forgotten about the Boras factor Alex but on the other hand he hasn’t exactly done wonders for Keuchel.

  5. Great job by the best pitcher on the staff at this point. Close to a double digit lead on all the teams in the division. They are at this point, cruising. That HBP call last night was terrible. That ball missed Alonso’s hand by at least 6 inches. Should have been reversed. He knew it did not hit him. He was standing down the line with his bat in his hand and the biggest indicator that he was not hit was that he never not once acted like he was. Never stood there shaking the hand or anything. Really terrible call that was rendered moot only because Jansen got the next 2 hitters. The umpiring this year has been awful. Big difference with Buehler that I have seen is that his pitches are staying in the middle of the plate instead of the movement he had last year. The bullpen needs to be addressed and soon. Chargois is the only reliever doing well down at OKC. So some sort of trade may be in order…Going to see the new GODZILLA this morning. Have a great day guys….oh and the all star vote is really different this year…

    1. While you’re with Godzilla this morning Bear, you might want to ask him if he’d have any interest in joining the Dodger bullpen.

      1. Great idea…that ATOMIC breath ball he could throw would be a killer……

  6. The Boras factor will be felt when Belli becomes eligible for either free agency or they decide to try and sign him long term…that will not be a fun time for Dodger fans.

    1. Yup, that will be ugly, but it’s still about 4.5 years away. We only have Seager for about 2.5 years and Mr. Boras will be involved in that one too. Within the next couple of months Corey will be back to the real Seager so he too will be in great demand when his contract is up. I can’t imagine either of those guys being willing to override Boras and sign an extension before hitting free agency. There will be just too much $ to resist having the fun of open bidding.

  7. Two things with Ryu. Can he stay healthy and can he perform like this in October? Last year outside of the Atlanta opener he wasn’t an ace. We already have one of those!

  8. For those who are interested, mlbtr.com has just posted a poll asking what Ryu’s next total contract in dollars will be. No mention of team or years, but at least you can voice your opinion on the total $.

    1. I read it, and voted. The premise is in regard to his next contract assuming he finishes the year as he’s started. If he can, I see 3 years over $40 being possible. I have doubts he will finish as he started. I have the same doubts about every pitcher on this staff. History shows us that this team, most teams really, put players on and off the IL all year long. I see nobody that will start 30 games and I see this bullpen being churned all year. It’s the nature of today’s game. There are no iron men anymore. I think the current consecutive games leader is like 300 something.

      1. If he finishes the year the way he started it, he’ll wind up with about 200 innings, 1.50 ERA and about 15 walks (current stats extended through the rest of the year including some more time on the IL). That is certainly worth more than 13 mil per year, and as Alex says, it would get him the Cy Young. I very much doubt he’ll finish the year the way he started, but if he did…………

  9. Rich Hill got $48 mil at 36 years old and didn’t put up hear the numbers Ryu is currently putting up so anyone thinking he wil sign for 3/$40 is dreaming. He’s 4 years younger and is a CY Young candidate. His absolute bottom would be 3 years $60 million and will more than lijeky get something closer to 4/$80. Considering Gerritt Cole is about to get $120-160 million it’s very reasonable.

      1. Make it 50 push-ups, 50 sit-ups and 50 burpees to top it off. The way I see it it either way I can’t lose. If I’m right you do them and if you’re right then that means the team got a damn good deal. 3/$60 isn’t a lot nowadays though when they gave Hill close to it in $48 million.

      2. Can’t do burpees .. knees. Maybe if I modify it some.

        Ok, you’re on. Might take a couple days to complete them but I’ll get them done if I’m wrong

      3. Hey, you guys are being a little vague about the details. Are you basically talking total $ and not worrying about the length of the deal. Are you talking average yearly dollars? Let’s get specific gentlemen or as El Jefe I’ll make you both do the push-ups, etc?

      4. 3/$60mm Jefe.

        Jefe don’t read do Jefe’n good. (I’m probably gonna pay for that one).

      5. I know the bet was 3/60 but what if he signs for 4/72? More total $ but less annual value.
        What if he signs for 2/50? Less total $ but more annual value.
        Who wins each of those scenarios?
        And yes, I’m being picky here.

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