Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: How good has Yimi Garcia been in the bullpen?

Jul 28, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Yimi Garcia (93) throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Yimi Garcia (93) throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /
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While many fans would have liked the Blue Jays to have had a better season so far when looking at the standings, they can’t deny that they are one of the top teams in the American League and have had several success stories.  One player that has had a solid year and gone under the radar was off-season signing Yimi Garcia.

The now 32-year-old Garcia was coming off a bit of a down season in 2021 that was split between Miami and Houston where he posted a 4.21 ERA, collecting 15 saves and was just one year removed from posting a 0.60 ERA during the 2020 Covid shortened season.  Atkins must have saw that he was more of the 2020 Garcia than the 2021 version, as Toronto signed the veteran to a two-year deal worth $11 Million (with a club option for 2024) just before the lockout came into effect.

Garcia started the 2022 season nearly unhittable as he went eight straight appearances without allowing an earned run while surrendering just two base hits.  However, in his ninth appearance, he allowed four runs in a third of an inning, which was also part of allowing runs in three of five consecutive appearances.  This short struggle led to the Twitter world and Blue Jays forums making unkind comments about his abilities and the Ross Atkins haters trying to state it was another bad signing.

The signing of Yimi Garcia this past off-season may go down as one of the most important and underrated moves this year by Ross Atkins for the Blue Jays.

Online comments did not appear to effect Garcia in any way because, after that five-game stretch that ended May 10, the eight-year veteran has posted a 1.99 ERA over 32 appearances and posted 0.947 WHIP.  Over the entirety of the season, Garcia has pitched in 45 games, allowing earned runs in just seven of those appearances and went through a 12-game span between June 19 and August 5 without allowing an earned run.

Garcia’s durability and consistency throughout the season have helped him be a dependable arm in the backend of the bullpen where he has been a mainstay as the seventh and eighth-inning reliever.

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Over his 16 appearances in the seventh inning, Garcia has held hitters to a .089 batting average and between innings 7 through 9, opponents batting splits are just .185/.238/.308.  Garcia leads the team in holds (19) and WHIP (0.939) while sitting second on the team in hits given up per nine innings, just 0.1 behind Jordan Romano.

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