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What do you do with Freddy?

Joe Girardi wasn't prepared to yank Freddy Garcia from the rotation after his third disappointing start.

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said he would only recommend skipping Garcia -- with an off-day Thursday -- if it would help Garcia.

Garcia said he had no excuses for his velocity that was only 83-85 mph.

Freddy Garcia

Freddy Garcia

#36 SP
New York Yankees

2012 STATS

  • GM3
  • W0

  • L1

  • BB3

  • K8

  • ERA9.75

"I need to step up and pitch the way I know how to pitch," Garcia said after after allowing five runs on five outs, which led to the 9-0 deficit the Yankees overcame Saturday.

Garcia now has a 9.75 ERA. With Andy Pettitte about 2½ weeks from returning, Garcia is by far the leader to be replaced in the rotation. While Phil Hughes has not been great, the Yankees have been believers in his potential. He would have the edge over Garcia in a tight race. Garcia is not making it tight. At least, so far.

At times in spring training, Garcia threw 87-90 mph, but he couldn't ratchet it up on Saturday. Velocity is not as important for five-pitch Freddy compared to others, but Rothschild said with Garcia's arm strength down there is a trickle-down effect.

"I think today, arm strength-wise he was down," Rothschild said. "It is a factor. His split is not quite as crisp. Breaking balls aren't quite as crisp. He has had starts like this. He did last year."

The Yankees could move David Phelps into the rotation to replace Garcia. Phelps had been lights out prior to Saturday. In his his initial 8 1/3 innings, Phelps only allowed one hit, a home run. On Saturday, Phelps gave up three runs, all earned, on six hits in four relief innings. Girardi called Phelps' performance "pretty decent."

Girardi said he is not looking to pull the plug on Garcia yet, but the manager would likely not admit if he were. Both Girardi and Rothschild said the Yankees can't keep taxing the bullpen the way they have after 15 games. Garcia knows. Everyone knows it. Even 15 runs from the offense can't obscure that.