Oh, the many MLB lives of a pitcher. This can be said — again — about Freddy Garcia, the once promising superstar who emerged with the Seattle Mariners in 1999 and was last seen pitching pretty decently for the New York Yankees.
Garcia, looking for a job this spring, was in camp with the San Diego Padres. But the veteran had an awful spring training and was released. If you get cut by the Padres before you can even begin your 15th big league year, it may be time to call it quits.
Buck Showalter, manager of the Baltimore Orioles, saw things differently. The O’s signed Garcia quickly after and sent him to Triple-A Norfolk. Garcia promptly went to work to get himself back to the show. He went 4-0 for Norfolk and could no longer be ignored by the mother ship.
Garcia got his call up and was sent to the mound on Saturday to face the enigma that is the Los Angeles Angels. Freddy had a pretty nice outing for a guy who couldn’t make the Padres rotation. He pitched 6.2 innings and only surrendered two runs on two hits. Garcia didn’t earn the win because the Angels rallied on his bullpen, but the O’s did win the game.
It wasn’t a pitching performance of the ages, by no means, but it did signify that the hard working Garcia still has some gas in the tank. And while that may not translate into a double-digit win season like he has recorded in eight of his 14 big league seasons, it serves notice to the rest of the AL East — especially the Yankees — that ol’ Freddy could be an asset come September.