Garcia with the Baltimore Orioles
|EDA Rhinos – No. 55|
October 6, 1976 |
|April 7, 1999 for the Seattle Mariners|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||4.15|
|Career highlights and awards|
Freddy Antonio García (born October 6, 1976), is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher who is currently playing for the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. He is best known for his stints with the Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, and New York Yankees.
García throws a fastball that can get into the 90s in his prime and a hard slider. He also throws a two-seam fastball, a curveball, a split-finger fastball and occasionally uses a changeup. García's best year was in 2001 in which he led the American League in innings pitched and ERA. He made the All-Star team in 2001 and 2002. In 2005, he was a member of the World Series winning Chicago White Sox and started the series winning game 4.
Originally signed by the Houston Astros as a non-draft amateur free agent in 1993, García was acquired by Seattle in 1998, along with Carlos Guillén and John Halama in the trade that sent Randy Johnson to the Astros.
During García's rookie season, he pitched 201 innings, compiling a 17–8 record with 170 strikeouts and a 4.07 ERA in 33 starts. After going 9–5 in his second season, he went on to win 18, 16, 12, 13, and 14 games over the course of the next five seasons. García was the American League pitcher on the mound when the 2002 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was called after 11 innings, and ended as a 7–7 tie. The other pitcher was Vicente Padilla of the Philadelphia Phillies.
At the July 31 trading deadline in 2004, García and Ben Davis were traded to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Michael Morse, Miguel Olivo, and Jeremy Reed. As a Mariner, García posted a 76–50 record with a 3.89 ERA and 819 strikeouts.
Chicago White Sox
García was the starting pitcher in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series for the Chicago White Sox, going 7 scoreless innings. The White Sox later won the game, and the World Series by and sweeping the Houston Astros.
In 2006, he surpassed 1,000 strikeouts for his career. In eight post-season games, he was 5–2 with a 3.56 ERA in 48 innings. Also during 2006, on April 29, García recorded his 103rd career win in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, surpassing former White Sox left-hander Wilson Álvarez as the Venezuelan native with most career wins in Major League history. He finished the season 17–9 with a 4.53 ERA. He was given the nickname "Big Game" while a member of the White Sox.
García experienced a shoulder injury that limited his performance for the first several months of the season. He was placed on the disabled list (DL) in June. García made 11 starts before being placed on the DL and earned one win.
In August 2008, García signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers. In his first 2 minor league starts with the Tigers he pitched 5 innings, gave up no runs, and struck out 5. In his Tigers debut in late September, García, with a limited pitch count, threw 5 scoreless innings to get the win.
New York Mets
In January 2009, García agreed to a minor league deal with the New York Mets. He was released from the Mets on April 28, 2009 because of two bad starts with the Triple-A farm team, Buffalo Bisons. He was released without having appeared on the club's regular season roster.
Second stint with the Chicago White Sox
In his first game back with the White Sox, García went 4.1 IP allowing 5 ER in a losing effort. García finished the 2009 season with a 3–4 record and a 4.34 ERA.
On October 5, 2009, the Chicago White Sox exercised their 2010 option on García, adding that the 34-year-old made a $1 million base salary, plus a possible $2 million in incentives.
New York Yankees
On January 31, 2011, García agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees worth $1.5 million. On March 25, 2011, the Yankees announced that García would be added to the major league starting rotation. He finished the 2011 season with a solid 12–8 record and a 3.62 ERA, however, he was consistently hammered by teams with .500 or better records, most notably the Boston Red Sox. García was on the mound in relief as the Sox won their second game of the season on April 10, as well as 2 other losses on May 15 and June 7. However, García did manage to defeat the Red Sox on September 24.
García also lost his only playoff start in Game 2 as the Yankees were defeated by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series in five games. Despite this, the Yankees offered him a one-year deal worth $4 million with incentives for the 2012 season. The deal became official on December 9.
In 2012, García was expected to challenge for a starting spot with Phil Hughes, A. J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda. However, Burnett was traded in the offseason, and Pineda was diagnosed with a shoulder injury, thereby allowing García into the rotation.
García began the 2012 season with bad footing as he threw 5 wild pitches in his first start against the Baltimore Orioles. He was demoted to the bullpen after going 0–2 in April with a 12.51 ERA, averaging only 3.1 innings per start. David Phelps was moved into the starting rotation.
García immediately improved once in the bullpen. In his two-month relief stint, he posted a 1.56 ERA in 17.1 innings. His sinker's speed also improved, from an average of 87.1 mph in April to 88.6 in May/June.
A fibula injury to Andy Pettitte in late June brought García back into the rotation. As of 15 August 2012[update], he has posted a 5–3 record and 3.69 ERA in this second stint as a starter. Overall, Garcia finished the 2012 season with a 7-6 record and a 5.20 ERA in 30 games appeared (17 started).
On January 28, 2013, García signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres. He was released by the Padres on March 24. He was promptly signed to a minor league contract by the Baltimore Orioles, and assigned to the Triple-A Norfolk Tides. He was called up on May 4 to make his Orioles debut on the road at Anaheim. He was designated for assignment on June 24, 2013. Three days later, García signed another minor league contract and returned to Norfolk.
On August 23, 2013, Garcia was acquired by the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations. Garcia pitched effectively for the Braves, going 1-2 with a 1.65 ERA in September (1-1, 1.83 ERA in 3 starts). He earned a start in game four of the NLDS. Although the Braves lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Garcia pitched well, giving up 2 runs over 6 innings and was in line for the win when he left the game.
On April 18, 2014, the EDA Rhinos of Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League signed Garcia to a contract. The seven month deal could be worth up to $392,000, and is the most lucrative in CPBL history. In his first game for the Rhinos on May 10, Garcia pitched six innings of shutout ball on four hits in a no-decision before being pulled after 77 pitches. The Rhinos won the game 5-0 against the Chinatrust Brother Elephants in front of a sellout crowd of more than 12,000.
García was once a power pitcher, but as he got older, García lost velocity on his pitches and compensated by developing a broad repertoire of up to six or seven pitches. In the 2013 season, García threw the following pitches, in order of their use:
- Four-seam fastball — 86–90 mph
- Slider — 78–82 mph
- Curveball — 72–76 mph
- Splitter — 78–82 mph
- Changeup — 80–84 mph
- Sinker — 86–90 mph
García has also adjusted his approach to the strike zone, being especially careful not to leave pitches in the middle of the plate: "He doesn't really have the electric stuff, so he's going to stay on the corners and stay out of the zone."
- Career Stats Fangraphs.com
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- Freddy García returns MLBlogs.com
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- Yanks, Freddy García agree ESPN
- Nova, García in rotation; Colon to bullpen MLBlogs.com
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- http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2012/04/freddy_García_roughed_up_again.html[dead link]
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- "Freddy García, New York Yankees - PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile". TexasLeaguers.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "Padres sign Garcia, Stauffer to Minors deals | padres.com: News". Sandiego.padres.mlb.com. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- Adams, Steve (2013-03-24). "Padres Release Freddy Garcia: MLB Rumors". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- "Orioles, Freddy Garcia agree to deal". Espn.go.com. 2013-03-29. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- "Freddy Garcia stays with Orioles". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 27, 2013.
- Kubatko, Roch (2013-08-23). "School of Roch: Garcia traded to Braves, A's lineup". Masnsports.com. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- O'Brien, David (January 24, 2014). "Braves re-sign Freddy Garcia to minor-league deal". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
- "Garcia returning to Braves on Minor League deal". MLB.com. 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2014-10-12.
- "Braves release Freddy Garcia". Associated Press. ESPN.com. March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Yeh, Joseph (April 19, 2014). "Freddy Garcia signs with EDA Rhino, arriving next week". The China Post. Retrieved April 19, 2014. "A local professional baseball team yesterday announced that it has sealed a deal with former Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star pitcher Freddy Garcia. The high profile ex-big league hurler with 150-plus wins is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on April 25 to join the Kaohsiung-based EDA Rhinos (義大犀牛), the team said yesterday."
- "Garcia ready to pitch in for Taiwan's Rhinos". Associated Press. ESPN.com. April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- Huang, Paul (May 11, 2014). "Garcia helps Rhinos share games". Taipei Times. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Howard, Johnette (April 17, 2011). "Freddy Garcia comes to Yanks' rescue". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Freddy Garcia". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
- Brian, Lewis (July 15, 2012). "Yankees' Garcia shaky, but gets job done vs. Angels". New York Post. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
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