Astros: Click adds another piece to the puzzle with Yimi Garcia
James Click continues to be active, as he brings in another closer in Yimi Garcia.
There was some doubt among those that I watch Houston Astros games with that James Click would make any significant moves, or perhaps any at all, prior to Friday’s looming trade deadline.
Click proved us wrong with the acquisition of Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero from Seattle on Tuesday, then followed up by acquiring a third right handed bullpen arm in two days by acquiring Yimi Garcia from the Miami Marlins in exchange for Austin Pruitt and Brian De La Cruz on Wednesday.
A 30-year-old veteran of parts of seven MLB seasons with 218 career appearances, Garcia doesn’t profile as strongly as Graveman, but the former Marlins closer is an upgrade over the previous options for Dusty Baker.
Garcia also has postseason experience, appearing in a game in the 2015 NLDS while with the Dodgers and 4 postseason games with the 2020 Marlins, two in the NLWC and two in the NLDS. The right-hander’s 2021 ERA+ of 118 matches that of his career, while his 4.17 FIP in 2021 closely aligns with his career number of 4.22.
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With the Marlins Garcia has notched 15 saves in 18 attempts this season, but his career numbers are dubious at best – 17 saves in 32 opportunities. Here’s guessing he won’t be in that role with the Astros unless unique circumstances arise. Garcia’s statcast profile is highlighted by a fastball velocity (96.0 MPH) in the 87th percentile, fastball spin in the 94th percentile and a curve spin in the 75th percentile.
The concern for me is that Garcia has given up five home runs and eight extra base hits on the fastball in 64 at bats which equates to a .547 slugging average along with an xSLG of .582. In addition, there doesn’t appear to be an out pitch that Garcia relies on.
His PutAway% are: 19.1% on 4 seam fastball (43.6% of pitches), 18.8% on slider (34.3%), 0.0% on curve (14.7%) and 16.7% on the change (7.4%).
Still, Garcia profiles as better than many, if not all, of the Astros current bridge options with the possible exception of Cristian Javier. In a bullpen that now includes Ryan Pressly and Kendall Graveman as back end options, Garcia is a welcome addition for the final two months of the regular season and into the postseason.