Jaime Garcia's injury history is cause for concern if the Twins are indeed finalizing a trade for him with the Braves, as reported by multiple outlets Thursday night.
Garcia, 31, has had his season end three times since 2008 because of injuries.
- Tommy John elbow surgery in 2008
- Season-ending shoulder surgery in 2013
- Season-ending thoracic outlet syndrome in 2014
And yes, that third one with the thoracic stuff is the same rib-removal surgery that Phil Hughes had with the Twins last season. Hughes still hasn't fully recovered from it.
But when healthy, Garcia is really solid.
He was third in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2010 when he finished 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA in 28 starts with the Cardinals. He came back in 2011 with another strong year, finishing 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA while striking out 156 batters in 194 2/3 innings. In 2015, Garcia had a career-best 2.43 ERA in 20 starts
Here's a nice breakdown of the types of pitches Garcia is throwing this season, courtesy of River Ave Blues.
Generally speaking, Garcia is a true five-pitch pitcher with two low-90s fastballs (four-seamer and sinker). His go-to secondary pitch is a fading low-to-mid-80s changeup. He also throws a low-80s slider and a loopy mid-70s curveball. The curveball is his least used pitch at 6.4% this year. Garcia throws everything else at least 11% of the time. Here’s some video:
Twins GM Thad Levine got an up-close-and-personal look at Garcia during the 2011 World Series. Levine, then with the Rangers, watched Garcia toss 7 shutout innings while allowing just 3 hits in Game 2 of the series, which the Cardinals eventually won.
Garcia came back in Game 6 and pitched 3 innings before the Cardinals went to the bullpen early.
Garcia is scheduled to start for the Braves Friday night, but if a trade gets done he could join the Twins in Minnesota and start one of this weekend's games against the Tigers.