Yimi García

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Yimi Garcia

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 175 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Reliever Yimi Garcia began playing in the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league system in 2009.

He posted a 1.67 ERA in 54 innings in his rookie professional season with the DSL Dodgers, but his mark jumped to 7.04 in 13 games for the AZL Dodgers in 2010. He struck out 71 batters in 52 1/3 innings for the Ogden Raptors in 2011 and in 2012, he had 16 saves, a 2.92 ERA and 82 Ks in 52 1/3 innings split between the Great Lakes Loons and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. For the Chattanooga Lookouts in 2013, he had 19 saves, a 2.54 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. Following the season, he was named an AFL Rising Star and prior to 2014, MLB.com ranked him the 14th best prospect in the Dodgers system. He began 2014 with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.

Garcia made his big league debut for the Dodgers on September 1, 2014, having been called up from AAA that day when rosters expanded. He was used as a reliever in a game against the Washington Nationals, pitching two scoreless innings, facing the minimum 6 batters as the only baserunner he allowed, Bryce Harper, who singled, was erased on a double play grounder; his first strikeout victim was Anthony Rendon; he was replaced by pinch-hitter Joc Pederson, who was also making his debut, in the bottom of the 9th. He had no decisions and a 1.80 ERA in 8 games, pitching a total of 10 innings.

Yimi made the Dodgers' roster out of spring training in 2015 and earned his first career win on April 13th when he was credited with a 6-5 win over the Seattle Mariners; he pitched a perfect top of the 10th inning and was handed the win when Alex Guerrero hit a bases-loaded single with two outs in the bottom of the frame. He made it two wins in two nights when the next day Howie Kendrick hit a two-run single off Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the 9th to make him a 6-5 winner. He recorded his first major league save on April 24th in a 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres. He had a remarkable streak of 33 consecutive appearances without allowing a walk from June 7 to September 28th, his penultimate outing of the year, which constitutes a major league record. He did walk one batter on October 4h and finished the season at 3-5, 3.34 with 1 save and a K/W ratio of 68/10 in 56 2/3 innings. He pitched in the postseason for the first time that season, getting one scoreless inning of work against the New York Mets in Game 3 of the Division Series.

Garcia underwent Tommy John surgery following the 2016 season, resulting in his missing all of 2017. On May 4, Dodgers, he pitched a hitless 8th inning after Walker Buehler had started a game against the San Diego Padres by holding them hitless for six innings and Tony Cingrani had followed with another hitless frame. He was followed on the mound by Adam Liberatore who completed the combined 4-0 no-hitter with a hitless 9th inning. The game was played at Estadio de béisbol Monterrey in Monterrey, Nuevo León, making it the first no-hitter ever pitched outside the United States or Canada. He went 1-2, 5.64 in 25 games that season and did not appear in the postseason, as was the case in 2019 when his record was 1-4, 3.61 in 64 games.

He signed with the Miami Marlins as a free agent before the 2020 season and went 3-0, 0.60 with 1 save in 14 games for them during the shortened COVID-19 season. This time, contrary to his days in Los Angeles, he was considered a key member of the bullpen when the Marlins unexpectedly made it into the postseason and he got to pitch 4 times. His two appearances in the Wild Card Series against the Chicago Cubs resulted in 2 scoreless innings, but against the Atlanta Braves in the Division Series, he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in 1 1/3 innings. Back with Miami in 2021, he went 3-7, 3.47 with 15 saves in 39 appearances as the team's closer over the first four months. With the Marlins unable to recapture their magic from the previous season, they were sellers at the trading deadline and on July 28th, Yimi was sent to the Houston Astros in return for Austin Pruitt and Bryan De La Cruz. He pitched another 23 games with Houston, but struggled to a 5.23 ERA and a 1-2 record. Overall for the season, he was 4-9, 4.21 in 62 games, with 15 saves. He was used extensively in the postseason, appearing in 10 games for the Astros. He did not do well in the first two rounds, combining for 7 runs in 5 innings, but in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves, he allowed just 1 hit an no runs in 4 innings, spread over 4 outings.

He was a free agent following the 2021 season and signed a two-year deal in November to join the Toronto Blue Jays, whose weak bullpen had been their Achilles' heel the previous season. His signing turned out to be a big one, as became a mainstay of the bullpen. In 2022, he went 4-5, 3.10 in 61 games, with one save as one of the main set-up men for closer Jordan Romano. He also appeared in both games of the Jays' loss to the Seattle Mariners in the Wild Card Series, giving up one hit but no runs in one inning. In 2023, after the Jays had acquired Erik Swanson to be the primary set-up man for Romano, he became an all-purpose fireman, being used to get key outs at whatever point of the game he was needed. He went 3-4, 4.09 with 3 saves in 73 games, logging a career high 66 innings, the vast majority of them in high-tension situations. He appeared in the postseason again, with 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his sole appearance against the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card Series. At the start of the 2024 season, he was the best performer in a bullpen racked by injuries to Romano and Swanson, who both started the year on the injured list, and Chad Green, who went on it as soon as the two mainstays were ready to return. He was almost unhittable during the first six weeks of the season, with an ERA of 05.3 in his first 16 games, and just 5 hits allowed in 17 innings while racking up 23 strikeouts.

His first name is pronounced as if it were spelled "Jimmy".

Further Reading[edit]

  • Keegan Matheson: "García producing eye-popping numbers to begin '24", mlb.com, May 16, 2024. [1]

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