Garcia needs control early in the count
We’ve already seen good Garcia and bad Garcia so far this season. He struggled to find the plate against the Diamondbacks, especially early in the count, and benefitted by some good defense to bail him out. It was a completely different story, and in his home start against the Angels, he threw 68% strikes and had some dominating innings.
Early in the count was a real bellwether for Garcia last year. While he was above average with even counts or leading the count, Garcia gave up 134 tOPS when he was behind on the count in the 31st percentile.
When Garcia got behind in those counts, he couldn’t paint the corners as well as he needed to. He tried climbing back in and good hitters teed off on balls I knew were coming down the middle. The better Garcia can get at both starting counts and keeping the ball out of the middle-third of the plate, then we will see more success out of him.