August 28th, 2008
Garcia on his outing: “I tried to throw strikes, make my pitch, tried to get a good situation, see how my pitching responds. Good changeup, good breaking pitch. I was pretty happy about all that.”
On facing Triple-A hitters: “They wanted me to come here to face more experience. So I proved to them I can pitch right now.”
On whether he feels he can pitch in the big leagues right now: “If they give me a chance, yeah. I have to pitch every five days. We finish here Monday, so I probably won’t pitch any more [for the Mud Hens]. I don’t know what they want to do. Maybe go to Florida and pitch to hitters [in instructional league], I don’t know.”
When Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish was asked if he felt Garcia could pitch in the big leagues now, he said, “To me, you just look not so much as the success, but the swings against him. There weren’t many good swings tonight against him.”
I don’t usually give predictions on this blog, but I would be very surprised if he wasn’t brought up to Detroit next week. The Tigers aren’t in a pennant race, they need pitching, and he’s someone worth looking at for next year. It’s very difficult to judge his viability for next year on one Triple-A start. It goes back to what Tigers officials said when they signed him: It’s worth a shot. Even with Chris Lambert making another start, the Tigers could use Garcia as a sixth starter for one turn, then move Lambert into the bullpen after that.
The plan for Garcia was to have him throw three innings or 50 pitches. He needed just 32 pitches (25 strikes) to get through three scoreless innings tonight, scattering two hits and facing 10 batters. Matt Rusch is warming up, so Garcia is done for the night. No walks, four strikeouts.
Garcia topped out around 88 mph on the stadium radar gun and was consistently around 86 with his fastball. He threw a steady diet of curveballs that had Columbus’ hitters chasing.
Been here for a little while. Dontrelle apparently is doubtful to make his next turn for the Hens because of his forearm/biceps problem. The story from here is that he felt it warming up in the bullpen before the game, but gave it a go in part because the Hens have been short on pitchers for a while. He threw 82-84 and was out after an inning.
Where does that leave Willis for September? As Jim Leyland would say, that’s a good question.
Not sure if you’ll see photos of Freddy Garcia from this outing, but he seems to be going for the Magglio look. His hair is long, much longer than it ever was in his previous time in the Majors. That doesn’t really mean anything, but I figured I’d throw that out.
Forgot to mention this in the stories last night, but just to make clear, Chris Lambert will return to pitch Tuesday, with Justin Verlander going Monday on his normal rest. You can make a case that the extra day of rest would help out Verlander after going 115 pitches Thursday, but if they did that, they wouldn’t be able to option out Lambert and bring him back so soon (normally he’d have to stay down there at least 10 days). The reason they can do it in this case is because the Mud Hens’ season ends on Monday. Thus, you get these roster maneuvers.
Clear? Good. I’ll be in Toledo tonight writing on Freddy Garcia’s start, so hopefully you’ll see something on that later on this evening.