NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Freddy Garcia expects to win a job in the Yankees’ rotation.
The 34-year-old right-hander is so confident about his chances that he feels if he doesn’t earn one of two openings behind CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett that he will have no one to blame but himself.
“I said it the first day of camp. I lose the spot, that’s my fault,” the two-time AL All-Star said after working two scoreless innings during a 1-1, 10-inning exhibition tie with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
“That’s my responsibility, to do my job in spring training.”
Garcia, signed to a minor league contract after going 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA for the Chicago White Sox last season, allowed two hits and struck out one in his debut.
After striking out Evan Longoria to end a one-two-three first inning, he escaped a potential jam in the second when Matt Joyce singled with one out and was later thrown out trying to advance to third on a two-out infield single by Sean Rodriguez.
“It’s good to get the first one out of the way. … Everything went fine,” Garcia said. “Right now, I feel pretty good. I’m in good shape. My arm feels great.”
Girardi said it’s premature to talk about Garcia’s prospects for winding up in the rotation. However, he does appreciates the pitcher’s confidence.
“You’ve got to believe in yourself in this game,” the manager said. “It’s a tough game. Everyone’s always fighting for jobs, so that’s the belief you have to have.”
Ivan Nova, also competing for one of two open spots in the rotation, followed Garcia with a three-inning scoreless stint of his own. Bartolo Colon and Sergio Mitre are also in the running.
“We’re going to evaluate. That’s what we have to do,” Girardi said. “Bartolo’s going to throw tomorrow. We saw Nova today.”
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