Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia entered Saturday’s action with one of the top stat lines in all of Major League Baseball.
He had a 5-0 record, a 1.93 ERA, and a 57/13 K/BB ratio through his first 65 1/3 innings of the 2011 regular season.
Unfortunately, just about everything went wrong Saturday night at Denver’s Coors Field.
Garcia allowed the Rockies’ first five hitters to reach base and wound up surrendering six runs in the first inning alone. The start didn’t get any better in the second or third frames and Garcia was finally pulled in the fourth after allowing a career-high 12 runs and a career-high 11 hits. At one point he was issued an automatic ball for going to his mouth between pitches. Another time he flubbed a rundown that led to a Colorado score.
Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta did a big chunk of the damage, finishing 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI. Ryan Spilborghs also had a big night, going 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Garcia has great stuff and remains a top young arm, but regression can come quickly and the 24-year-old native of Mexico is now sporting a more realistic 3.28 ERA and 1.19 WHIP through 11 starts.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.