The Minnesota Twins search for starting pitching gained urgency with the injury to Ervin Santana. Jaime Garcia is the next name to be linked to the Twins.
The Minnesota Twins announced on Tuesday that their top starting pitcher, Ervin Santana, will be missing for 10-12 weeks after surgery on the middle finger of his throwing hand. Fans hoped that would mean that the Twins would double down their efforts to go after Yu Darvish. That still might prove to be true but the next rumor connecting the Twins to a starting pitcher Tuesday wasn’t for Darvish, instead, it was for a reunion with Jaime Garcia.
You may remember that on July 24th of this past season the Twins traded minor league pitcher Huascar Ynoa to the Atlanta Braves for Garcia, Anthony Recker, and cash. That was when the American League Central still looked in reach for the Twins, but then the team went on to lose 5 of their next 6 while the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals were on winning streaks. That caused the front office to flip Garcia to the New York Yankees for Zach Littell and Dietrich Enns.
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In Garcia’s one start with the Twins he went 6.2 innings and allowed 3 runs in a win against the Oakland Athletics. What will scare many fans away from wanting Garcia on their favorite team is how his time went in New York. Down the stretch, it seemed clear that the Yankees were trying to avoid letting Garcia toe the rubber. He did make eight starts holding a 4.82 ERA and recording a record of 0-3 while donning the pinstripes.
Very honestly, after dreaming of Darvish all winter it is really hard to get excited about Garcia rumors. This past summer though, this is right where many of us probably thought the Twins were headed. The reality is Garcia does make a good back of the rotation signing. He isn’t a strikeout machine but in 2018 had a 7.39 K/9, a strike percentage of 19.2%, and a swinging strike rate of 11.1%.
If this is all the Twins were able to find in the way of starting pitching this offseason fans probably have a right to be upset. If the Twins were able to pair Garcia with another pitcher in that top group it might not look too bad. It is no Darvish, but goes a long way to creating some strong depth across the Twins rotation.