The Astros have claimed infielder Robel Garcia off waivers, the Angels announced (Twitter link). The Halos designated Garcia for assignment earlier this week. Justin Verlander was placed on the Astros’ 60-day injured list to create roster space for Garcia, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
Garcia is no stranger to the waiver wire at this point, as he is now joining his fifth different organization since July. Initially DFA’ed by the Cubs on July 23, Garcia was claimed and then subsequently designated by the Reds, Mets, and Angels, with Los Angeles just picking Garcia up at the start of February.
Is there a chance Garcia could finally stick in Houston? He offers some versatility as a utility infielder (who has also spent some time in left field), though Almedys Diaz and Abraham Toro already provide a lot of multi-positional depth on the Astros’ bench. Toro hasn’t yet shown much at the plate over 186 Major League plate appearances, however, so the Astros could see Garcia as a potential option if Toro is sent to Triple-A.
Garcia’s big league resume consists of 80 PA over 31 games with the Cubs in 2019, when he hit .208/.275/.500 with five home runs. His unique minor league career included four years in the Indians’ farm system from 2010-13 before taking three years away from baseball and then resurfacing in the Italian Baseball League in 2017. This led to a minors deal with the Cubs in 2019, and some very big numbers at the Double-A and Triple-A levels prior to his call-up. Garcia doesn’t turn 28 years old until next month, so he presents some intrigue as a late-blooming power bat.