Are you sick of talking about “pitching depth” yet? I know I am. I also know that it’s not exactly out of the ordinary that news breaks when I’m asleep in the east, but then again, is signing 38-year-old Freddy Garcia to a minor league deal, as the Dodgers apparently have done, “news?” I’m writing about it, so, fine, I guess it is.
Garcia spent a bunch of years as a reliable and occasionally very good starter for the Mariners and White Sox, but that was a long time ago, and after a good enough 2011 for the Yankees, he’s gone from a bad 2012 in New York to a mediocre 2013 split between Baltimore and Atlanta to a 2014 spent in Taiwan. (Where he won their version of a Gold Glove, apparently.) You might remember him from Game 4 of the 2013 NLDS, his last big league appearance, when he actually held it together against Clayton Kershaw in a game ultimately remembered for Juan Uribe‘s “bunts are stupid, homers rule” bullpen blast.
Of course, he also lost out on a job with the Braves last year to Aaron Harang, and he hasn’t actually been good since 2011, and the season starts in like 10 minutes, so no, don’t worry that this is the answer to Hyun-jin Ryu‘s absence. What this is, much more likely, is the reaction to the injuries suffered by Erik Bedard and Chad Gaudin, which again, no one cares about. (From an “is the Dodger pitching healthy” perspective, anyway. I imagine the pitchers themselves care.) One veteran non-roster invite is as good as another at this point. I presume Jamie Moyer and Jon Lieber can’t be far behind. Anyway, if Garcia is willing to spend his spring and summer in Oklahoma City, good on him. Man must love baseball.
Let’s assume, though, that Garcia didn’t agree to come back to be a reliever. Dustin’s going to have more on the likely minor league rosters later this week, so I’ll leave that to him to dive into, but think about the Triple-A rotation. Joe Wieland‘s going to be there, even if he does take that one Ryu start. Zach Lee, too, and Carlos Frias. Add Garcia, that’s a fourth starter. When I looked at the potential roster back in February, I totally forgot about Barry Enright, who’s always been a starter. Red Patterson‘s still kicking around, so far as I know. Matt Shelton‘s mostly been a starter the last two years, and has a knuckleball. What of Chris Reed? I’ve never thought he was a starter. Maybe he won’t be. Or, maybe, there’s a move coming that frees up that last 40-man spot we’ve been talking about.
Anyway, Freddy Garcia exists, I guess, and now he exists for the Dodgers, sort of. Carry on.