Freddy Garcia Accepts Demotion

The New York Mets have assigned Freddy Garcia to minor league camp, and he’s accepted the decision.

The righthander has been struggling with the velocity and command of his fastball, and has been lit up by every team he’s faced this spring — including college hitters in a brutal 1/3 inning against the University of Michigan (oops, that was Tim Redding … they all look the same to me in the boxscore!).

Mets Assistant GM John Ricco said that Garcia could stay in Port St. Lucie at the end of spring training, or be sent to Buffalo.

While it’s too bad that Freddy hasn’t yet worked out, this remains a no-risk gamble for the Mets. As long as Garcia is not on the 40-man roster, he is paid only a minor league salary. If he builds himself back up and can find his way to the 40-man, then he’s owed $1.5M. I still believe he can be useful as a back-end starter if he can get his velocity up to the high 80s.

This announcement pretty much solidifies Livan Hernandez as the Mets’ #5 starter to begin the season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Livan finished the season as the team’s #3.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude March 25, 2009 at 8:26 am
    A correction, Joe: it was Tim Redding who got shelled for 5 runs in just .1 of an inning against the U of M. Garcia actually threw 2 scoreless innings against the Wolverines. However, he has given up runs in every other spring outing thus far, and sports a none-too-flattering 16.71 ERA.

    I’m agreeing, though, with the synopsis that Garcia is a no-risk gamble. If he had chosen to decline the Mets’ wishes of being sent to extended ST, it wouldn’t have been any skin off our back. But it’s always nice to have depth hanging around, especially that of the experience and potential talent of Freddy. He’s already back up to 87-88 MPH with his fastball, so maybe if he can get a couple more ticks on the radar gun and use the extra month or two to work on his control, Garcia can very much be useful again. Especially considering Livan is no guarentee in the 5 spot, nor is Redding, and Maine is still a headcase.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to praise Livan as the second coming of his brother, though. If he’s to catapault himself into the #3 spot in the rotation, that means he’s got to outperform Ollie. Do you really see that happening? If Livan wins 8-10 games and keeps his ERA between 4.50 and 5.00, I’d say he had a fantastic season. Are those the expectations you have for Perez?

  2. joe March 25, 2009 at 9:43 am
    ‘dude, thanks for the correction … all these injured hasbeens are starting to blur together …

    Garcia’s only touching 87-88, and doing it without command. I think he was pushing it a little. He needs to be throwing 88 without effort, and touching 90, in order to be effective. That’s why I’m somewhat optimistic, because it appears he can continue to increase the velocity. I’m convinced he’s healthy, but needs to build himself back up.

    I’m not praising Livan as the second coming. I’m more worried about Maine and Perez. So, yes, I think it’s possible that Livan outperforms Ollie, when you look back at the entire season. Perez will likely throw about a dozen gems, but also leave 10 games by the fifth inning. If Livan is healthy (big if, I know), he may resemble the tortoise from the tortoise and the hare story — he’ll very quietly, and in a boring way, muddle through 190-200 IP, post a 5.00+ ERA, but wind up with double-digit wins.