Via James Wagner:
The initial word on Christian Garcia’s visit with a Baltimore-based hand specialist is that the right-hander will need two more weeks of rest before he can resume throwing.
Garcia was scheduled to fly to Washington on Sunday to be evaluated by Ken Means, a hand specialist. He had originally hoped to play catch on Monday after not throwing for nearly a month with a partially torn tendon in his right forearm. He was likely injured when throwing on a cold morning of workouts last month.
Adam Kilgore suggests that the right-hander would return in early May at the earliest.
Garcia made his Major League debut last season at the age of 26, posting a 2.13 ERA with 15 strikeouts and two walks in 12.2 innings. Coming up through the Minor Leagues in the Yankees’ system, he was used as a starter, but the Nationals converted him to a reliever two seasons ago.
With a back-end of the bullpen that includes closer Rafael Soriano, Drew Storen, and Tyler Clippard, the Nationals should be just fine in crucial spots in the game, but having another hard-throwing right-hander from the get-go would have been a nice luxury for the defending NL East champs.
Nationals right-hander Christian Garcia began complaining of forearm discomfort last weekend and was prescribed two weeks of rest. And now that period of rest has been extended indefinitely.
According to beat writer Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the Nats’ medical director has diagnosed Garcia with a partially torn tendon and advised that he refrain from throwing for a while.
“There won’t be any surgery,” Garcia told reporters on Sunday in Nationals camp. “I’m done with cutting myself open. … Right now, it’s just about resting it. They want the symptoms to go away. Once the symptoms go away, we’ll have a plan of attack.”
Garcia, 27, posted a 2.13 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 15/2 K/BB ratio over his first 12 2/3 major league innings last season. He had a 0.86 ERA and 11.4 K/9 in 52 1/3 minor league innings before his promotion.
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Nationals right-hander Christian Garcia will be shut down for the next 10-14 days because of lingering discomfort just above his right wrist.
Garcia underwent an MRI exam in Nationals camp last week that revealed a mild forearm strain and was then prescribed rest after visiting with an arm specialist in the Baltimore area this weekend.
The 27-year-old boasts a nasty arsenal of pitches and posted an impressive 2.13 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 15/2 K/BB ratio across his first 12 2/3 major league innings last season. He had a 0.86 ERA and 11.4 K/9 in 52 1/3 minor league innings before his call-up.
Garcia will be stretched out as a starter once he’s recovered from this forearm injury and is expected open the season as a member of the Triple-A Syracuse rotation. We should see more of him at some point in 2013.
No major league team had ever blown more than a four-run lead to lose an elimination game. No team until the Nationals managed to let a six-run lead slip away in a 9-7 loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS.
One imagines Davey Johnson will put much of the blame for Friday’s defeat on his own shoulders. He certainly should. The baffling call to put Edwin Jackson into the game in the seventh was a decision that could have worked out even worse than it did (Jackson allowed one run, narrowing the lead to 6-4).
That inning should have gone to Ryan Mattheus or Christian Garcia. Those two aren’t household names and they aren’t sure things themselves, but they’re genuine relievers who have experienced success in the role this year. Jackson is a starter who was pitching on one day of rest.
The ninth was the real disaster, though, and one wonders how much differently that would have gone if the Nationals hadn’t put in Drew Storen to get some work in Wednesday’s 8-0 loss. Storen went on to throw another inning Thursday, so by using him again Friday, the Nationals were asking him to pitch a full inning three days in a row for the first time this year. He had pitched three days in a row twice previously since elbow surgery, but they were in a setup role and he wasn’t working full innings (he pitched two innings in three days the first time and 1 2/3 innings in three days the second time).
It was obvious Storen wasn’t at his best tonight. He still could have gotten out with the save if David Freese had been called out on a checked-swing or if Ian Desmond had handled Daniel Descalso’s game-tying single.
But Johnson left him in, even though he was struggling to get his slider down, making him a one-trick pony. Had the Nats sent the game to the bottom of the ninth at 7-7, they still stood a very good chance of winning with the Cardinals’ bench completely exhausted and most of the team’s best relievers having already worked. Instead, Johnson let Storen lose the game, a mistake he’s likely to spent the whole winter regretting.