Freddy García

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Freddy García
Freddy García on May 9, 2013.jpg
With the Baltimore Orioles
EDA Rhinos
Starting pitcher
Born: (1976-10-06) October 6, 1976 (age 37)
Caracas, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 7, 1999 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Win–loss record 156–108
Earned run average 4.15
Strikeouts 1,621
WHIP 1.30
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Freddy Antonio García (born October 6, 1976), is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. 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 and a hard slider. He also throws a two-seam fastball, a curveball, a split-finger fastball and occasionally uses a changeup.[1] 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.

Professional career[edit]

Seattle Mariners[edit]

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.[2]

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, he was 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.

García with the Chicago White Sox in 2005

Chicago White Sox[edit]

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.

García experienced a bit of controversy at the beginning of the 2006 season when he tested positive for marijuana during the World Baseball Classic.[3]

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.[2] He was given the nickname "Big Game" while a member of the White Sox.

Philadelphia Phillies[edit]

In December 2006, García was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for prospects Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez.[2]

García experienced a shoulder injury that limited his performance for the first several months of the season.[citation needed] He was placed on the disabled list (DL) in June. García made 11 starts before being placed on the DL and earned one win.[citation needed]

Detroit Tigers[edit]

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[edit]

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.[4] He was released without having appeared on the club's regular season roster.[5][6]

Second stint with the Chicago White Sox[edit]

On June 8, 2009, the Chicago White Sox signed García to a minor league contract.[7] García started on August 18 against the Kansas City Royals for the first time with the White Sox since 2006.

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.[8]

New York Yankees[edit]

García pitching for the New York Yankees in 2011

On January 31, 2011, García agreed to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees worth $1.5 million.[9] On March 25, 2011, the Yankees announced that García would be added to the major league starting rotation.[10] He finished the 2011 season with a solid 12–8 record and a 3.62 ERA,[11] 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.[11][12]

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.[13]

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.[14]

García immediately improved once in the bullpen. In his two-month relief stint, he posted a 1.56 ERA in 17.1 innings.[15] His sinker's speed also improved, from an average of 87.1 mph in April[16] to 88.6 in May/June.[17]

A fibula injury to Andy Pettitte in late June brought García back into the rotation. As of 15 August 2012, he has posted a 5–3 record and 3.69 ERA in this second stint as a starter.[15] Overall, Garcia finished the 2012 season with a 7-6 record and a 5.20 ERA in 30 games appeared (17 started).

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

On January 28, 2013, García signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres.[18] He was released by the Padres on March 24.[19] He was promptly signed to a minor league contract by the Baltimore Orioles,[20] 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.

Atlanta Braves[edit]

On August 23, 2013, Garcia was acquired by the Atlanta Braves for cash.[21] 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 the must-win NLDS game 4. 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.[22]

He returned to the Braves on a minor league contract signed January 24, 2014.[23] He was released on March 24.[24]

EDA Rhinos[edit]

On April 18, 2014, the EDA Rhinos of Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League signed Garcia to a contract. Terms of the deal were not released.[25]

Pitching style[edit]

García was once a power pitcher with a "95-mph fastball, nasty curveball and a terrific changeup that he throws to both lefties and righties."[26] 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 2011 season, García threw the following pitches, in order of their use:[27]

His slider and splitter are the ones he uses most often in 2-strike counts. None of his pitches have outstanding whiff rates, but the splitter is the highest at 31% since 2007.[27]

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."[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Career Stats Fangraphs.com
  2. ^ a b c "White Sox trade García to Phillies for Floyd". ESPN. Associated Press. December 18, 2006. Retrieved January 23, 2009. 
  3. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (April 30, 2006). "Report: García violates IBAF drug policy; Venezuela paper claims positive test for marijuana at Classic". MLB.com. Retrieved January 23, 2009. 
  4. ^ espn.com
  5. ^ Rubin, Adam (January 23, 2009). "García lands with Mets". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Mets Sign RHP Freddy García". MLB.com. January 23, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009. 
  7. ^ Freddy García returns MLBlogs.com
  8. ^ "ChiSox pick up García's option". CNN. October 5, 2009. 
  9. ^ Yanks, Freddy García agree ESPN
  10. ^ Nova, García in rotation; Colon to bullpen MLBlogs.com
  11. ^ a b Hoch, Bryan (December 9, 2011). "García's one-year deal with Bombers official". MLB.com. Retrieved December 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "New York Yankees Officially Sign Freddy García to One Year Deal". 
  13. ^ http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2012/04/freddy_García_roughed_up_again.html[dead link]
  14. ^ DeJohn, Kenny (April 29, 2012). "New York Yankees: Freddy García to Bullpen, David Phelps to Join Rotation". Bleacher Report. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b "Freddy García 2012 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Freddy García, New York Yankees - PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile". Texas Leaguers.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Freddy García, New York Yankees - PITCHf/x Pitcher Profile". TexasLeaguers.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Padres sign Garcia, Stauffer to Minors deals | padres.com: News". Sandiego.padres.mlb.com. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  19. ^ Adams, Steve (2013-03-24). "Padres Release Freddy Garcia: MLB Rumors". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  20. ^ "Orioles, Freddy Garcia agree to deal". Espn.go.com. 2013-03-29. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  21. ^ Kubatko, Roch (2013-08-23). "School of Roch: Garcia traded to Braves, A's lineup". Masnsports.com. Retrieved 2013-09-13. 
  22. ^ O'Brien, David (January 24, 2014). "Braves re-sign Freddy Garcia to minor-league deal". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Braves sign Freddy Garcia to minor league deal". Miami Herald. 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  24. ^ "Braves release Freddy Garcia". Associated Press. ESPN.com. March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  25. ^ Yeh, Joesph (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." 
  26. ^ Verducci, Tom (March 26, 2001). "Without A-Rod -- or any other slugger -- it will all come down to pitching". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Freddy Garcia". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  28. ^ Brian, Lewis (July 15, 2012). "Yankees' Garcia shaky, but gets job done vs. Angels". New York Post. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 

External links[edit]