ARLINGTON, Texas — A somewhat forgotten man will make his return to the rotation next week.
Jaime Garcia, the Yankees’ big trade-deadline acquisition before Sonny Gray, is slated to start the finale of the three-game series at Citi Field against the Rays on Wednesday.
Joe Girardi said that with the Yankees in a lengthy stretch of games without a day off, his plan for now is to return to a six-man rotation, meaning Garcia’s return could be a one-and-done.
The 31-year-old lefthander has been mostly shaky since joining the Yankees, 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA in five starts. The best of those was his most recent outing, the first game of the Aug. 30 doubleheader against the Indians at the Stadium, when he allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings of a 2-1 loss.
“I haven’t pitched in 10 days or whatever, so just trying to get that dust out,” Garcia said after throwing a four-inning simulated game Friday afternoon here. “But it actually went pretty well. Just wanted to get some pitches in and get some work done.”
The long rest, Garcia said, has not necessarily been welcome.
“I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s ideal not getting [in a game] in a while, but at this point of my career, I’ve learned I can adapt to anything,” Garcia said. “I’m healthy, I’m strong, I’m always staying positive, I’m always coming in every day to do my work and be ready for whatever they need me to do.”
While Garcia hasn’t been good, only his first start — at Cleveland on Aug. 4, when he allowed six runs (five earned) in 4 2⁄3 innings — outright buried the Yankees.
“I think he’s done OK for us,” Girardi said Friday. “All our guys have thrown pretty well and he’s kept us in games and given us a chance to win. For us, that’s what we ask our starters to do, and he’s done a pretty good job.”
Because of the number of quality relievers at his disposal, Girardi’s leash for most of his starters — Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka are exceptions — has been a short one, Garcia perhaps most of all.
“I’ve said this in the past, this is my ninth year in the big leagues, and I’ve gone through a lot in my career and I get to a point where I’m literally just thinking about executing one pitch at a time,” Garcia said of perhaps being affected by the potential of a quick hook. “There’s nothing else in my mind. Whether I throw 120 pitches or 50 pitches, whenever that manager takes me out, that’s his call. My job is to execute pitches and keep us in the ballgame as long as I can. I really don’t think about those things out of my control.”
Notes & quotes: CC Sabathia received an injection in his right knee Wednesday and was evaluated by club physician Christopher Ahmad a day later. It’s all part of routine “maintenance” on the knee, said Sabathia, who will throw a bullpen session Saturday and is scheduled to take his next rotation turn on Monday . . . With the Rangers starting lefty Martin Perez on Friday night, switch hitter Chase Headley got the start at first base over lefthanded-hitting Greg Bird. “Head’s been swinging really well against lefties,” Girardi said of Headley, 24-for-65 (.369) vs. lefthanders since June 26. “Birdie will be back in there tomorrow.” . . . Austin Romine served his one-game suspension, stemming from his altercation with the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, on Friday night. It was reduced from two games to one after Romine appealed the penalty . . . Girardi said Clint Frazier (left oblique strain), who started a rehab assignment Wednesday with Double-A Trenton, will be evaluated “after this weekend” to determine how close he is to returning . . . Girardi, Gray and Sabathia were among a small group of Yankees who visited Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Friday morning in nearby Frisco at The Star, where the team practices.