The Phillies announced Thursday morning that reliever Luis Garcia, the hard-throwing, void-of-command righty who made it from A-ball to the Majors in 2013, did not make the Major League bullpen to start the 2017 campaign.
His optioning to minor league camp is the penultimate move to finalizing the Phillies’ 2017 relief corps - the final one, seemingly, is the optioning of Zach Eflin - and the end result is not unappealing!
Garcia, for his part, really tried to break camp with the team. I mean, it’s tough to deny the effort the guy has put in, from that 2013 ladder-climbing to trying to add a splitter this year, Garcia is at least well-equipped to handle the setback that comes from making it this close to breaking camp with the team and, instead, taking his talents to Coca-Cola Park. His final audition yesterday against the Tigers may have been what tipped the scales: 2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Luis Garcia didn't walk anyone. But he threw 45 pitches in two innings. He's on the bubble with two days to go.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) March 29, 2017
If nothing else, depth is terrific, and the Phillies are shaping up to have quite a bit of it. That IronPigs team is going to be absolutely loaded to start the year, and hopefully Garcia makes mincemeat of the challenge. If his four seasons of Major League numbers tell us anything, it’s that he’s usually better in odd-numbered years anyway, and that’s a statistical foundation you can take to the bank.
As for the big boys, the final bullpen composition - barring a tragic, eleventh-hour injury in the final two spring games - will look like this:
- Jeanmar Gomez
- Hector Neris
- Joaquin Benoit
- Pat Neshek
- Edubray Ramos
- Joely Rodriguez
- Adam Morgan
This is intriguing for a few reasons, and Justin has more on that in his bullpen preview. My own short summary of the names above: You Know, It’s Not That Bad!
If that doesn’t get you revved up, well, what will?