Next up in our 2023 season preview series is relief pitcher Yimi García.
Before we get going, here's a refresher on the projection systems we're going to be using and what they're all about:
STEAMER: 70 G, 4-3 record, 4.06 ERA, 68 SO and 22 BB in 70 innings
ZiPS: 57 G, 5-4 record, 4.04 ERA, 54 SO and 17 BB in 56 innings
2022 stats: 61 G, 4-5 record, 3.10 ERA, 58 SO and 16 BB in 61 innings
García, 32, is going to be entering the 2023 campaign in the second season of a two-year deal he signed with the Blue Jays last offseason.
He delivered last year in a big way, giving the Jays exactly what they so desperately needed, a reliable middle-relief option who can make 60+ appearances and consistently keep the club in close games.
After making 61 appearances last year, STEAMER projects him to go even higher while ZiPS sees him making four less appearances. Both projection systems seem to believe that he is going to see a spike in ERA almost one full run.
While it's always fun to use the projections, keep in mind that they are never perfect. García has seen his numbers go up and down a bit over the course of his eight-year career. After starting with the Dodgers back in 2014, he made 64 appearances of 3.61-ball in 2019 followed by a sparkling 0.60 ERA in 14 appearances in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.
In 2021, he once again made over 60 appearances, this time splitting his time between the Marlins and Astros. He excelled with the Marlins as the club's closer, earning 15 saves along the way, but struggled in Houston.
Entering his second season as a Blue Jay, García used five different offerings on the mound last year, led by his mid-90s fourseam fastball that can reach up to 98mph.
Throughout his career, García has been a quiet player who flies under the radar and just goes about his business.
He's not going to blow hitters away with 100mph+ heat and he's not going to compete with Jordan Romano to be the team's primary closer. However, he is a workhorse who is very rarely injured and can be counted on to always get the job done.