Pirates lefty Jarlin Garcia, who signed a one-year, $2.5MM deal with a club option for the 2024 season this offseason, will go multiple weeks without throwing, director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk announced Wednesday (Twitter link via Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). While scans of Garcia’s elbow and shoulder have come back clean, he’s still unable to grip a baseball after leaving his most recent spring outing with tightness in his left arm. The club is still in the process of trying to secure a more concrete diagnosis, but the fact that they’re expecting a weeks-long break from throwing effectively rules Garcia out for Opening Day.
Garcia, 30, spent the past three seasons with the Giants and was with the Marlins for the three seasons prior. He’s not a household name but has emerged as a solid reliever over the past several years. Dating back to 2019, he’s tossed 202 2/3 innings of 2.89 ERA ball while picking up a pair of saves and 27 holds. Garcia’s 21.6% strikeout rate and 42.1% ground-ball rate are both a few ticks below the league average in that time, but his 7.2% walk rate is a fair sight better than league average as well. He sits 93.4 mph with his heater, his primary offering, and complements it with a changeup and slider that he uses equally as often as the other — though the former is the more effective offering of the two.
The injury to Garcia leaves the Pirates with just one left-handed bullpen option on the 40-man roster: Rule 5 pick Jose Hernandez, whom they selected out of the Dodgers organization. Hernandez has yet to pitch in Triple-A but posted a 2.14 ERA and 22-to-7 K/BB ratio in 21 High-A frames last year before moving up to Double-A and logging a 3.96 ERA in 38 2/3 frames. He fanned an impressive 29.7% of his opponents in Double-A but also issued walks at an unsightly 11.4% clip.
An absence from Garcia would certainly seem to increase Hernandez’s chances of breaking the roster, though the Bucs may not relish the idea of a Rule 5 pick with no Triple-A experience being their lone left-on-left options late in games to begin the season. As such, non-roster invitees like Caleb Smith, Rob Zastryzny, Angel Perdomo and Daniel Zamora could all see increased chances of making the club. The free-agent market still has a few lefties of note as well, including Zack Britton, Mike Minor and Ross Detwiler.
Alternatively, Pittsburgh has a few other paths to consider. Many veterans on minor league deals with other clubs will exercise opt-outs in their contracts between now and Opening Day, upon being informed they haven’t made their current club’s roster. There’s also the waiver wire to monitor and the spring trade market, both of which will pick up in a few weeks when teams begin selecting the contracts of non-roster veterans who’ve made the club and, in corresponding moves, shedding others from the 40-man roster.
I always get him and Yimi Garcia mixed up
thats it fort pitt
Justin Wilson returns to Burgh?
If he isn’t going on the 60 man, using the rule 5 guy as your lefty is definitely the pirate thing to do.
figures, their best signing.
I still can’t believe Garcia only signed for $2.5M. His numbers have been excellent outside of his K rate for multiple years now. It just goes to show how much strikeout rates are valued by teams these days. I really wonder if Greg Maddox would have had the same opportunities he had in the 90’s if he were a young pitcher these days. There is still quite a bit of value in pitchers who can get outs consistently outside of the K, but teams no longer value this skill much anymore. One of the downsides of the advanced metrics era we are in.
“There’s also the waiver wire to monitor and the spring trade market, both of which will pick up in a few weeks when teams begin selecting the contracts of non-roster veterans who’ve made the club and, in corresponding moves, shedding others from the 40-man roster.”
What a mouthful. And you don’t need a dang comma after “and.” Commas aren’t needed after conjunctions as a general rule. Look it up, for Pete’s sake.
“There’s also the waiver wire to monitor and the spring trade market. Both will pick up in a few weeks when teams begin selecting the contracts of non-roster veterans who’ve made the club and shedding others from the 40-man roster in corresponding moves.”
Reads much more easily.
The Pirates sign multiple scrap heap guy standing from 2 million-5 million. Choi, Santana, Cutch, etc. it’s like they are looking for an ahi us Wagner baseball card in a garage sale! Should sign one solid player instead.