The Rockies designated righty Jon Garland for assignment to make room for lefty Jeff Francis, announced the team on Twitter. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post was first to report the impending move. Francis, who had been on the DL for a groin strain, will start tonight against the Padres. Francis could be replaced soon as well, with Tyler Chatwood on the mend and Roy Oswalt tuning up in Double-A, reported Renck's colleague Patrick Saunders yesterday.
Garland, 33, has a 5.82 ERA, 4.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.19 HR/9, and 49.1% groundball rate in 68 innings across 12 starts this year. His first three starts went well, but he posted a 6.80 ERA over the next nine. Garland had shoulder surgery in July 2011, and didn't pitch again in the Majors until his Rockies debut on April 6th this year. He inked a minor league deal with the Mariners in February, but exercised an out clause in March when they chose not to commit a roster spot out of Spring Training. He then signed a Major League contract with the Rockies with a $500K base salary and an additional $2.6MM in incentives for innings pitched and games started.
Garland was drafted 10th overall by the Cubs in 1997, one spot after soon-to-be former teammate Michael Cuddyer. The White Sox pilfered him from the Cubs for reliever Matt Karchner in a cross-town swap the following year. From 2002-07, Garland averaged 207 regular season innings per year, making the All-Star team and picking up a World Series ring in '05. A California native, he later had stops with the Angels, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Padres.