Yimi Garcia proved to be an important member of the Dodgers' bullpen in 2015. Here is a look back at his second major league season.
What went right
Garcia made his opening day roster in 2015, and put together a solid season in the Dodgers bullpen, with a 3.34 ERA in 59 games, with 68 strikeouts and 10 walks in 56⅔ innings.
Among all pitchers in Dodgers history with 10 or fewer walks in a season, Garcia's 68 strikeouts in 2015 were second-most, trailing only Kenley Jansen, who had 80 strikeouts and eight walks in the same bullpen.
Garcia's 25.8-percent K-BB% ranked 16th among the 435 pitchers in baseball with at least 30 innings.
Right-handers hit only .224/.266/.333 against Garcia in 2015, but then again left-handers only hit .172/.209/.375.
Garcia had 18 relief appearances of at least one inning in which he didn't allow a runner to reach base, second on the team to Jansen's 23, and seven more than any other relief pitcher on the staff.
Garcia earned his first major league win with a scoreless inning of relief on April 13 against Seattle, then did the same for another win the very next night, striking out two in each appearance.
He picked up his first — and to date, only — major league save on April 24 against the Padres, striking out two in a perfect inning.
What went wrong
Garcia blew two of his three ninth-inning save opportunities.
The right-hander led the Dodgers bullpen with 11 "meltdowns," defined by FanGraphs as any appearance with negatively affects the team's win probability by at least six percent. Garcia's 11 meltdowns were three more than any other Dodgers reliever, and tied for 17th in the National League, three fewer than the league leader.
Garcia allowed eight home runs, and his seven allowed in relief were the most in the Dodgers bullpen. All eight home runs came with men on base, a situation in which batters hit .257/.321/.595 against Garcia in 2015, compared to a minuscule .182/.206/.212 with the bases empty.
Two of those home runs came in an eight-day span at the end of June into July, a four-game stretch that saw Garcia allow at least one run in four straight appearances. That, coupled with the pending All-Star break ahead, earned Garcia a demotion to Triple-A.
"As much as anything, we wanted him to use this time to get a breather. We've used him to this point more than he'd ever done," manager Don Mattingly said at the time. "Also he can work on fastball command a little bit, and work on the secondary stuff. It seemed like the timing was right."
Garcia returned to the Dodgers at the end of July and, outside of another 10-day option because of a roster crunch near the end of August, Garcia was in the Dodgers' bullpen to stay, and the breather worked.
From when Garcia returned to the end of the season, he put up a 1.86 ERA in 19 appearances, with 15 strikeouts against only one walk, and just one home run allowed in 19⅓ innings.
Stats: 3.34 ERA, 3.20 FIP in 59 games, 68 K, 10 BB, 56⅔ IP, 0.5 rWAR, 0.8 fWAR
Salary: $510,000; pro-rated for his time in the majors, roughly $407,000.
Game of the year
Garcia pitched two scoreless innings on April 10 in Arizona, keeping the game tied in the seventh and eighth innings. He allowed a single and struck out a season-high four batters.
Garcia has one year, four days of major league service time and has one option year remaining, having used options in 2014 and 2015.