When Avisail Garcia underwent surgery in mid-April to repair a torn labrum and an avulsion fracture in his left shoulder, it was thought that he would be lost for the rest of the season. However, thanks to a quicker-than-expected recovery, the White Sox have activated him from the disabled list for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
Acquired from the Tigers last July in the three-team Jake Peavy trade, Garcia began this season as the starting right fielder for the White Sox and was hitting .267 (8-for-30) with two home runs and four RBI in eight games before he injured his shoulder while attempting to make a diving catch on April 8. Full recovery from surgery was expected to take six months, but he managed to begin a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month and hit .340 (17-for-50) with one home run and three doubles over 13 games with Triple-A Charlotte. And now he’s back.
Garcia is just 23 years old and is viewed as an important part of the future for the White Sox, so he’ll now be able to go into the offseason with some peace of mind. Even if he struggles, that’s a valuable thing.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.