White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia is set to undergo right knee surgery, he told reporters including MLB.com’s Scott Merkin (Twitter link). The precise nature of the procedure isn’t clear, but it seems there’s little reason to think it’ll pose any problems going forward.
Indeed, Garcia will wait until just after the conclusion of the regular season to have the work done. That’s as good an indication as any that there’s no real concern of jeopardizing his ability to prepare for the 2019 season.
Garcia says he has been battling issues in the joint all year long. He ended up on the shelf for stretches of the season and to this point has appeared in only 88 games.
Of greater concern for the South Siders is the fact that Garcia fell shy of his excellent 2017 output at the plate. Thus far in 2018, he’s slashing only .238/.278/.440. Though he has matched his career-high of 18 home runs in just 367 plate appearances, Garcia has also seen his strikeout rate jump to a career-high 26.4%.
On the positive side, Garcia actually made hard contact at a better rate (38.2%) than in 2017 or ever before. His year-over-year BABIP drop of 119 points (.392 to .273) certainly speaks to some variations in batted-ball fortune. Indeed, Statcast figures suggest that Garcia’s 2017 luck (.375 wOBA vs. .359 xwOBA) has simply turned in 2018 (.303 wOBA vs. .332 xwOBA).
Ultimately, the 27-year-old is all but certain to be tendered a contract by the White Sox. He’ll be in line for a raise on his current $6.7MM salary before qualifying for free agency, unless the club decides to pursue a longer-term contract.