Yimi García continues to dominate out of the Blue Jays bullpen

Photo credit:© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
1 month ago
The Toronto Blue Jays bullpen has been a sore spot for the start of the 2024 campaign. They own a league-worst collective 5.04 ERA at the time of writing and have allowed 23 home runs on the year, sitting behind only Tampa Bay (25) at the bottom of the standings. Multiple players are struggling to find their 2023 form, including Génesis Cabrera, Tim Mayza, and Erik Swanson, key members of the Blue Jays relief corps that have been hit around through the first month and a half.
That narrative doesn’t extend to Yimi García, the veteran Jays right-hander who joins the squad for a third season after his vesting option kicked in for an additional campaign after appearing in more than 60 games/60 innings pitched for the Jays last year. So far, that option has paid off in more ways than the $6 million owed to the Dominican product given his performance on the diamond through the first 41 games.
Through 15 appearances and 15 1/3 innings, García owns a 0.59 ERA and has allowed just four hits and one earned run all season long, coming off the bat of Mariners infielder J.P. Crawford who drove a low curveball offering over the right field wall at the Rogers Centre for a solo home run back on April 8th. Since then, Garcia has only allowed two hits through his last 9 2/3 innings and has amassed 20 strikeouts on the season compared to just three walks. He has yet to allow a multi-hit game all season while pitching a minimum of 2/3 of an inning per outing.
The right-hander has held opponents to a .080 average and owns a 0.46 WHIP on the campaign while posting an 11.7 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9. Opposing teams have authored just a .103 BABIP and a .312 OPS while ranking in the 99th percentile in xBA (.152) and chase percentage (40.2%) and the 98th and 97th percentiles on xERA (1.81) and K% (34.0) respectively. On a struggling Jays bullpen, García has been a focal point of positivity for a solid arm that manager John Schneider can turn to in pressure situations.
Last night, Schneider turned to García in the bottom of the eighth against the Baltimore Orioles with a 2-2 tie and the right-hander shoved on the mound.
He was able to get Cedric Mullins to strike out on an 87 MPH slider foul-tipped into Alejandro Kirk’s glove before setting down Jorge Mateo and Gunnar Henderson, both via whiff. Mateo was set down on a nasty sweeper out of the zone down and away while Henderson’s walk back to the dugout came via a swing and miss on a low changeup, with the former Rookie of the Year swinging over the top of the offspeed offering. Through 14 pitches, García pitched 10 strikes on the day.
It was a monumental point in the game, as the game went into extra innings before Toronto took the lead in the 10th inning and Jordan Romano closed the door, earning the win on the day after pitching two innings.
To get to that point, the Jays had to call on García to get the job done, and he continued to overpower opposing batters with his arsenal, all of which boast either a zero or positive value in terms of run value. No opponent has been able to put his mid-90s fastball in play while opponents own a .200 average or below on his other offerings.
Looking ahead, the Blue Jays will need García to continue his current trend given a large portion of the club’s bullpen staff is struggling to live up to expectations outside of a few other names.

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