Posted: 6:03 pm Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Braves’ Garcia: I’ll be ready when bell rings 

By David O'Brien

JUPITER, Fla. – Freddy Garcia knows his last couple of starts haven’t exactly been confidence-boosters for Braves fans, but the veteran pitcher wasn’t worried after giving up six hits and four runs (three earned) in four innings of Thursday’s 11-0 Grapefruit League loss to the Cardinals.

“I give up a lot of runs lately, but I’m fine,” said Garcia, 37, who has allowed 12 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) in 6-2/3 innings over his past two starts. “It’s different when the bell rings (for the regular season). Spring training game are different. I just need to pitch better in my next couple of starts.”

Garcia came to camp as a candidate for the fifth-starter job along with talented young left-hander Alex Wood. But because of injuries to other starters, now both of them will be needed in the opening-day rotation.

After pitching five perfect innings in his first two starts, Garcia was charged with six hits, six runs and four walks in 2-2/3 innings of his third start Saturday against the Astros. He was told just before that game that his wife, Glendys, had gone into labor and was taken to a Miami area hospital, and Garcia said he rushed to get through his outing so he could drive to Miami to be with her.

Glendys and baby Sebastian – Garcia’s third child — were doing well and attended Thursday’s game on a windy day in Jupiter.

“I felt better, but it’s hard to pitch in this kind of weather,” Garcia said. “No excuse, but my ball is moving all over the place. For me, I have to throw first-pitch strikes. The last couple of innings I wasn’t able to do that.”

Once a hard-throwing ace, Garcia has lost about 10 mph on his fastball and must rely on finesse, change of speeds, and location. With the wind gusting from 20-30 mph throughout the game, Garcia said his less-than-overpowering pitches were affected and he couldn’t get ahead in counts the way he needs to in order to be successful.

“At this point (of his career) I can’t be 2-1, 3-1, I need to be ahead pretty much,” he said. “I tried to do that, but it didn’t happen. But I felt pretty good. I really wanted to go one more, but 73 pitches… I got my work in.”

When told what Garcia had said about the wind affecting him Thursday, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, “I tend to agree with him…. It was a tough day to evaluate anything really. We misplayed some balls in the wind.”

15 comments
58Supersports
58Supersports

Fans will think its Christmas when teams  light Garcia  up like a Christmas tree.


Wren needs to keep looking.....

58Supersports
58Supersports

Season  hasn't even started and half Braves starting pitchers already need TJ surgery.(Medlen and Bleachy)  What's McDowell doing 9 TJ in last few years?  This didn't  happen when Leo was pitching coach.

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

OH and Cory Gearrin looked like he was throwing batting practice to the Cards yesterday.................Cut Him Loose or Trade him!

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

The Bell is ringing for lunch period.............he better get his s@#t together soon!

JaxFalconDogFan
JaxFalconDogFan

Unfortunately I don't get to see too many games live, especially spring training games.  Perhaps if we had a little better offensive showing in these games the pitching wouldn't look quite as bad as it does now.  BJ, Uggla and company need to get it together real soon, or this is really going to be a long year.  Maybe when all the pieces fall into place on opening day, all will be righted on the good ship Braves.

TheMonger
TheMonger

Garcia is TOAST!!!!  Had a 8.31 ERA last spring for the Padres in 6 starts.  Has one lucky month with the Braves and of course is back to giving up 4-6 runs a start.  This start gives up 4 runs in only 4 innings and last start gives up 6 runs in 2 innings (and blamed it on his wifes' birth).  The guy is 37 years old and just can't pitch anymore, similar to Livan Hernandez when we had him a few years ago.  Wren falls in love with these old, over the hill retreads for some reason.  Luckily we still have 7 pitchers better than him on the roster, at the very least, and probably a few of these young guys would beat him out.  

1. Teheran

2. Santana

3. Minor

4. Beachy

5. Wood

6. Hale

7. Floyd

Those 7 pitchers are all better than Freddie Garcia, and should have roster spots before him.  I am hoping a few young guys like Aaron Northcraft or JR Graham come along this year, so the Braves will have more starting pitching depth than they did this year.  It unfortunately looks grim for Kris Medlen, and that is truly heartbreaking because the guy is such a competitor on the mound, couple with Santana possibly leaving next year and the Braves better start getting some starting pitchers ready from the minor leagues.

ChessMaster
ChessMaster

I frankly care more about his comment that he was having control issues, than anything else. His last start was in my mind nothing to worry about. If I had been told my wife had gone into labor, I would have skipped the start. I have to think his mind is elsewhere.

Garcia just needs to get into a grove and pitch before Teheran in the rotation. Imagine facing Garcia one day and then trying to catch up with Teheran the next. The delta between them will help both. Give Garcia a few more weeks of routing and he will hit his corners an pitch on the black.

AlaskaBravesFan
AlaskaBravesFan

As an old friend used to say, "I'll tell you what's so . . . ."  Freddy is solid, and he'll do just what he said he'll do: He'll produce when the season begins.  We need him, and he'll step up.  He is no spring chicken, baseball terms, but he can get the job done.


ABF

Bravesfan54
Bravesfan54

You know what "they" say about him, "he looks good until he doesn't", which seems to be the "then" and "now" of where he is. I like his attitude, but that and six-bits, etc.

BravesFan1966
BravesFan1966

Ready for what?  To go 2-10 with a 8.88 ERA.  I watched part of the game today before I had to stop before I threw up my lunch.  A decent hitting high school team could have hit his butt today.

drbasic1
drbasic1

@BravesFan1966 we pick up every used up washed up has been in the league and Wren thinks they are all good pick-ups......I just don't understand