Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 7/2/12

Freddy Garcia gets a second chance at a starting role. But is he ready to prove he’s better than he’s shown in the beginning of the season.

After he opened up his season in the starting rotation pitching horribly, Freddy Garcia got bounced out and placed back in the Yankee bullpen. But due to their injury-riddled staff now, the team is now forced to fill the void and put Garcia back into a starting role. Tonight he will take the mound and start his first game since April 28.

Garcia started four games in April and his performances progressively worsened with each game he was called on for. In those four starts, he accounted for a minuscule 13.2 innings pitched in which he gave up 20 runs, 19 of them earned, and he finished the month with a 12.51 ERA and an 0-4 record.

His consistent underperformance and the addition of Andy Pettitte to the roster, left the Yankees with no choice but to remove Garcia from the rotation and give him a spot as a reliever. He seems to have settled much better into this role and has pitched more comfortably out of the bullpen than he did as a starter. Since his last start, he’s made ten appearances on the mound and and contributed some quality pitching in relief. When called on out of the bullpen over the past two months, Garcia tossed a total of 17.1 innings and has allowed just 12 hits and only one earned run.

He’s been much more reliable in small doses, pitching just a few innings at a time and shutting down opposing lineups in the process. Longevity and endurance during his starts has proven to be his weak point, which makes his role a relieve much more suitable to the team.

Once again though, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi, has been left with no other choice but to make substitutions to their depleted starting staff. Garcia is getting a second chance and needs to come out firing to prove he’s deserving of it. His first time back on the mound to start since April won’t be any easy task either. He’ll be going up against division rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays, who will be attempting to shorten the 7.5-game gap between themselves and AL East leading Yankees.

With Andy Pettitte not due to return from his fractured ankle until late in the season, the club needs a reliable replacement. Freddy Garcia hasn’t proven much reliability as a starter this season, but he’ll get one more chance beginning tonight. The Yankees need solid starts from him now more than ever and if he can come through, he may replace the missing links in the rotation until everyone gets healthy again.

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