Minnesota Twins: Jaime Garcia Provides Stable Rotation Piece
With a career ERA of 3.65, Garcia gives the Minnesota Twins a reliable option at the back-end of a rotation that has seen its fair share of struggles.
Currently the Minnesota Twins have two stable starters in the rotation, Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios. An argument can be made for Adalberto Mejia, who has shown tremendous promise and reliability in his last few starts, lowering his ERA to 4.22.
After those three, there is minimal stability. Kyle Gibson has routinely been described as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-type pitcher who either implodes in the initial stages of a game, or logs a quality start. Bartolo Colon has been labeled as an option, but is seen by most as a PR-move. Felix Jorge has made two starts this season, and has shown he is still in need of minor league experience.
Garcia, although not an all-star level trade deadline splash, gives that extra durability that Twins fans have yearned for when the four and five starters are scheduled. With a team ERA of 4.80 that ranks fourth to last in the MLB, this is a move that is a necessity for a team in the playoff hunt that has frankly gotten by on a large amount of luck this far.
Garcia has shown exceptional capability in the past, winning a World Series in 2011, and going 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA in 2010, finishing third in the NL Rookie of the Year race that season. As recent as 2015, Garcia had a 2.43 ERA with St. Louis, but was plagued by several visits to the disabled list that season. If he can recapture some of the same elite caliber of pitching he has had in the past, the Twins may have the spark that can propel them to first place in the AL Central for good.
More from Puckett's Pond
- Minnesota Twins: You Spin Me Right Round, Right Round
- Minnesota Twins: What happens next at Shortstop?
- Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins’ Joey Gallo signing
- Minnesota Twins: 4 Possible Trade Chips not named Kepler or Arraez
- Minnesota Twins: After missing out on Correa, what comes next?
There are several major “ifs” with Garcia, and for a contending team, many would consider this a conservative move. With current and former MLB all-stars as the subject of trade rumors across the baseball community, Twins fans are forced to sit back and watch while small moves like this are made. With an up-and-coming minor league system, the Twins are likely expecting the usual patience that has been the mantra of the squad for much of the past few years.
Should Mejia and Garcia promote increasing stability, the only major question mark is Gibson, who will likely be pushed out of the rotation when Hector Santiago returns. Otherwise, the Twins will continue to need to look below into the farm system and determine who is best suited for an opportunity to start.
Next: 1987 Twins profile: Gary Gaetti
Garcia is a better option than the other experiments at the rear of the rotation, and a few quality starts could be the difference in just missing or just making the playoffs. At what is expected to be a relatively low-cost to the team, this is one of the better moves made by first year Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine.