Not again! Garcia lifted from opener; MRI Friday
You’ve got to be kidding.
Two days after declaring himself “100-percent healthy,” injury-prone Thunder right-hander Christian Garcia was lifted from tonight’s season-opener with elbow soreness after allowing just two hits over 5 2/3 innings.
His manager, Tony Franklin, said Garcia told him the elbow “felt like it was going to pop.”
Garcia, who has pitched only 87 2/3 innings since 2006, was making his first appearance since a second surgery on his right elbow by Dr. James Andrews last summer cleaned out bone spurs, chips and removed scar tissue compressing on a nerve.
A member of the Yankees’ 40-man major league roster, Garcia missed all of 2007 following reconstructive elbow and knee surgery and has not thrown more than 50 innings in a season since 2005 at Single-A Charleston.
He began the 2009 season on the disabled list, only to storm into Trenton with a 2-0 record and 0.71 ERA in five starts.
Then he got hurt.
Garcia had a 1-2 count and two outs on Erie’s Wilkin Ramirez in the sixth before being surrounded by team trainer Tim Lentych, pitching coach Tommy Phelps, manager Tony Franklin and the entire Trenton infield.
Wilkins Arias needed only one pitch in the top of the sixth to close the book on Garcia, who struck out three with just one walk. The two hits against him in the first and sixth inning barely made it out of the infield.
The Thunder defeated Erie, 4-0, for their first win on opening day since 2004. Garcia was the winning pitcher.
UPDATE: Garcia will have an MRI Friday.
Garcia quotes: “I started feeling it in the third or fourth inning. This definitely was not part of the plan, but whatever it is I have to deal with it. I thought I threw well for the most part. I was moving the ball in and out, was able to locate my fastball and had a good curveball and changeup. But I started cutting my changeup short because it hurt during my extension. I was getting good movement, but I wasn’t able to do what I normally do.’’
Franklin quotes: “We’re always going to be very cautious with any injury, whether it’s a pitcher or position player, but particularly with Christian considering his history. I am sure it’s frustrating for him and I feel bad for the guy. He’s worked extremely hard to get back doing what he likes to do and here we are dealing with another injury. It could be nothing. We hope it’s nothing. But it’s not good any time he says he felt like it was going to pop.’’