SUNDAY: Both Garcia’s promotion and Posey’s DL placement are now official, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic was among those to tweet.
SATURDAY: The Giants are expected to promote Aramis Garcia to the major-league club, as Robert Murray of The Athletic was first to report. The move will likely come tomorrow, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
News of Garcia’s first call-up to the big leagues coincides with the news that franchise icon Buster Posey is scheduled to undergo season-ending hip surgery on Monday. Though Posey is presumably available to pinch-hit in today’s game, the Giants are all but out of the playoff hunt and have accepted the fact that they need to turn an eye towards the ensuing seasons. That means making sure Posey has a shot at returning in time for Opening Day 2019, and as such there’s a void to fill behind the plate beside current backup Nick Hundley.
It wouldn’t be fair to expect Garcia to perform to Posey’s level, or even the watered-down version we’ve seen this year. After all, he’s not exactly lighting the world on fire at Triple-A so far this season. The former second-rounder has hit .237/.286/.263 in 41 plate appearances at that level so far, and even at Double-A this year he only managed a wRC+ of 88 to go along with a .682 OPS. On the other hand, he showed a bit more potential last season when he posted a 116 wRC+ with 17 homers across two levels of the minor leagues.
MLB Pipeline ranked Garcia as the Giants’ 15th-best prospect in their most recent update, citing his strength and the loft in his stroke as reasons to be optimistic about his power potential. There’s plenty of reason to be concerned about his floor, though; the publication believes he’s becoming too aggressive at the plate and will need to tighten up his strike zone in order to have a shot at success against major-league pitching. His defensive skills are merely average as well.
Despite the concerns about him, the Giants aren’t exactly white-knuckling it in regards to hopes that Garcia can become an everyday catcher. Rather, he’ll only need to develop into a serviceable backup in order to fill a future organizational need. Posey will likely return in time to play most if not all of 2019, and San Francisco has their catcher for the future in the form of this past draft’s number two overall pick, Joey Bart. Still, Garcia can win himself a major-league job as a part-time player if he makes good use of his 2018 audition.