On Monday, Freddy Garcia will make his first start since April 28. He will make another one five days after that, and another five days after that, and so on, for as long as the Yankees need him.
That is the plan, anyway, with CC Sabathia out for at least 15 days and Andy Pettitte out for at least two months.
Both GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi said today that Garcia's start against the Rays in Tampa is not planned as a one-shot.
"I expect Freddy to be the man and kind of bounce back to what we have seen him do for so many years,” Cashman said.
“I do have confidence in him. That is why we didn’t release him or cut him loose. We put him in the pen. He has been professional biding his time.”
Asked if he considered Garcia a long-term solution for the rotation, Girardi said, "Yeah, I do. Freddy’s done it for us before. And Freddy’s an experienced guy. Freddy’s not going to get caught up in the moment. He did a great job for us last year and it looks like his stuff is back.''
After not pitching for 11 days -- and traveling back to Caracas, Venezuela to attend the funeral of his grandfather -- Garcia earned his first win of the season with a two-inning stint in the 14-inning win over the Nationals in Washington on June 16, and stepped in again on Wednesday after Pettitte got hurt, throwing 2-1/3 hitless innings to get the win over the Indians. Those two outings, and a couple in-between, "lowered'' Garcia's ERA to 6.39; it had been as high as 12.51 when he was removed from the rotation.
"I’m always ready man. At the beginning of the season, I was struggling, so they sent my ass to the bullpen,'' Garcia said. "Today, I feel great. I got another shot to start and hopefully I'll do good.''