A few weekends ago, I was with some friends at a bar before a NBA playoff game and the conversation turned to the Orioles – specifically, the pitching staff.
One of my friends harked, “so do you think Freddy Garcia is going to get a start this year?”
At the time, Jake Arrieta had just been optioned to Triple-A.
I said, “Unfortunately, yes.”
My friend asked, “how many?”
I said, “maybe five…”
Well, I figured Garcia – a pitcher who was once a fireballer back in the day who has turned into a finesse guy – who would be seen in Baltimore, because despite his advanced age can still pitch.
In addition, Dan Duquette seems like finding diamonds in the rough rather than spending on a small fortune on players that may be only marginally better. Garcia was not a special pitcher for the New York Yankees last season, but he was serviceable and productive.
Furthermore, the Orioles do need a veteran-tested arm in the organization; however, Garcia is not a guy who I had in mind. Then again, there’s a reason why he’s been seemingly been able to stick around forever.
Sure enough, this week -- he got the call. Duquette has been a master with the roster callups and using the depth in the system. Garcia is just another in a long line of moves to help the team’s flexibility.
Garcia will be starting against the Los Angeles Angels this Saturday and the game will be featured on FOX. Something tells me that Garcia will do fine against the Angels; however, who knows.
The Angels are struggling and this is a team that Garcia should be able to work around. He’s a pitcher who relies on guts and guile; however, if the Halos can find some mojo, it could be an ugly afternoon out there.
Here’s the press release with the announcement of Garcia being promoted:
Orioles select contract of RHP Freddy Garcia from Triple-A Norfolk
RHP Zach Clark designated for assignment
The Orioles today announced that they have selected the contract of RHP FREDDY GARCIA from Triple-A Norfolk. To make room for him on the 25- and 40-man rosters, RHP ZACH CLARK has been designated for assignment.
Garcia, 36, has gone 4-0 with a 2.67 ERA (33.2IP, 10ER) in five starts for the Tides this season. He was named International League Player of the Week for the week ending April 28 (2-0, 1.69 ERA, 16.0IP, 10H, 3ER, 9K).
The veteran right-hander is 152-101 with a 4.15 ERA (2183.2IP, 1006ER) in his 14-season major league career with Seattle (1999-2004), the White Sox (2004-06 and 2009-10), Philadelphia (2007), Detroit (2008) and the Yankees (2011-12). The two-time All-Star (2001 and 02 with Seattle) finished second in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 1999, when he went 17-8 in 201.1 innings for the Mariners. Garcia has twice finished in the top-10 in AL Cy Young voting (1999 - 9th and 2001 - 3rd, when he went 18-6 with a 3.05 ERA).
Among active pitchers, Garcia's 152 career victories rank ninth, and he has the most wins for any Venezuelan-born pitcher in baseball history. He has gone 6-3 with a 3.28 ERA (60.1IP, 22ER) in 10 career post-season starts, including 7.0 shutout innings in clinching Game 4 of the 2005 World Series for the White Sox.
Garcia will wear #38.
Clark, 29, made his major league debut for the Orioles on Wednesday at Seattle (1.2IP, 3H, 3ER, 2BB, K). He went 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA (25.2IP, 13ER) in five starts with the Tides this season. He went 15-7 with a 2.79 ERA (167.2IP, 52ER) in 28 games (26 starts) with Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk in 2012.
Additionally, CA LUIS EXPOSITO has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk.