Freddy Garcia Could Give Young Atlanta Braves Staff Much-Needed Veteran Presence

By Rob Holden
Freddy Garcia
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves acquired pitcher Freddy Garcia from the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. The move was a precautionary one as Garcia was acquired just after it was announced that Brandon Beachy was experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired right elbow and would be placed on the 15-day DL.

This move could be a good one for the Braves, but it isn’t likely to make much of a difference. Garcia will be sent directly to Triple-A Gwinnett and is likely to be recalled to the big league squad when the rosters expand for the final month of the season.

Though his numbers have been less than desirable so far (3-5, 5.77 ERA), Garcia is vastly more experienced than any current pitcher in the Braves rotation. He boasts a career record of 155-106 with a 4.18 ERA. More importantly, he has logged 60.1 playoff innings with a 6-3 record and 3.28 ERA.

The 36-year-old is certainly past his prime, but his 15 years of major league experience and the consistency (and flashes of brilliance) he has shown over the course of his career could prove a valuable asset to the Braves pitching staff down the stretch and on into the playoffs.

It seems unlikely that Garcia will command a spot in the starting rotation. With the likes of Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen, Alex Wood, Paul Maholm and the pending diagnosis of Beachy, the Braves are in no need of bolstering or changing their staff in any way.

Garcia would be at best a spot starter, someone to come out of the bullpen in the playoffs should a starter get into serious trouble in the first couple innings. From this standpoint, he doesn’t add much value to the Braves current roster. But what he can teach a staff that is one of the youngest in baseball could prove to be just the push the young bucks need to get them over the hump and into a World Series.

Rob Holden is an Atlanta Braves writer for Follow him on Twitter @RobMHolden, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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