Next up on the San Francisco Giants season reviews is left-handed reliever Jarlin García.
19 games, 18.1 innings, 11 hits, 7 walks, 2 hit by pitch, 0 home runs, 14 strikeouts, 0.982 WHIP
0.49 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 0.5 rWAR, 0.3 fWAR
Status throughout the season
García started the season on the Injured List, and was activated on Aug. 9. He stayed on the roster through the end of the season.
I still have no idea how García ended up on the Giants. He had a nice year in 2019 for the Miami Marlins — the Miami Marlins for crying out loud — who promptly decided that, coming off a 57-105 season, they had no need for a quite good, cost-controlled 26-year old.
The Marlins designated García for assignment, and the Giants swooped him, and took advantage of getting a solid left-handed arm for essentially nothing.
García was late to the party, as he was put on the Injured List at the start of summer camp with an undisclosed injury. Given that the Giants refused to comment on the injury at the time — and at anytime afterwards — the general sentiment was that García had contracted the coronavirus, but we don’t know for sure.
And when he finally arrived, the results were good. García made his Giants debut on Aug. 10, and though he immediately got in trouble and loaded the bases, he got out of the inning unscathed.
That became something of a trend for the lefty — not the getting into trouble part, just the not allowing runs part. García opened his Giants tenure with 15 consecutive scoreless appearances, before finally allowing his first — and only — run of the season on Sept. 22.
As the scoreless appearances mounted, García was put in more and more stressful situations. He primarily pitched in the late innings of close games, and he was a weapon. Despite not appearing until the season was almost a third of the way through, García led the Giants relievers in rWAR, and was second in fWAR.
Role in 2021
With Tony Watson hitting free agency, García is far and away the best left-handed reliever on the Giants roster. In fact, he might be their only trustworthy lefty reliever right now. He’ll pick up where he left off, and start next season as a late innings reliever and one of the bullpen’s most trusted weapons.
ERA may be an antiquated stat, and García may have had a season with a pink neon sign saying “small sample size” flashing over his head, but if you finish a whole baseball season with a sub-0.50 ERA you get a good grade. Don’t blame me, I just work here.
How would you grade Jarlin García’s season?
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