Labrum surgery is going to keep San Francisco Giants catcher Aramis Garcia out of action for the next six to eight months. Garcia had been a decent bet to make the Opening Day roster as the backup to Buster Posey, but after injuring his hip during winter ball, Garcia won’t return until midseason at the earliest, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports (twitter links).
After starting behind the dish for just shy of 70% of Giants games from 2012 to 2016, starting catcher Buster Posey has taken more time away from home in recent seasons, lowering his workload to closer to 60% over the past three campaigns. As Posey spends more time covering first, there’s plenty of opportunity behind the dish for Posey’s backup, a role shared last season by Erik Kratz, Stephen Vogt and Garcia.
Garcia spent most of the last two seasons in Triple-A, making just 17 and 12 starts with the big league club, respectively, in 2018 and 2019. But after slashing .271/.343/.488 in Triple-A last year, the 27-year-old Garcia was poised to make a run at being Posey’s primary seat-filler in 2020. The injury comes at a particularly inopportune time for both Garcia and the Giants, as the organization is not yet ready to hand the role to top prospect Joey Bart, per Pavlovic.
With Garcia now on the shelf and Bart likely ticketed to start the season in Triple-A, non-roster invitees Tyler Heineman, Rob Brantly and Chadwick Tromp are the top candidates to backup Posey. A few free agents remain on the market should the Giants decide to look outside the organization, namely veterans Russell Martin and Jonathan Lucroy.