We’ve seen Christian Garcia’s name mentioned a few times on this blog the past few days, and the first question with him is always the same. “How are you feeling?” There can be little doubt about the 24-year-old’s talent, but he’s been hurt year after year. How often does someone ask how he’s feeling? “About 20 times a day,” he said. “Every five minutes, from everybody.”
What has this process been like? You know the stuff is there to pitch, but something seems to always happen.
Garcia: Frustrating. If it isn’t the elbow, it’s the knee. The oblique. Something. But I think everything happens for a reason. Hopefully I find out what the reason is. I think with everything happening, it’s made be better physically and mentally.
How has your stuff come back from all of this?
Garcia: I have better control than I used to have. I think I’m more of a pitcher now than a thrower since all of those injuries. I didn’t have a changeup before, now it’s one of my best pitches… I incorporate the changeup a lot now. I have four things to play with. Before I had two. I had the four-seamer and the curveball, that’s it. I had zero changeup, zero sinker. Now I have the sinker and the changeup, so I have more to choose from in different situations.
Could you take me through the history of the injuries.
Garcia: Whew. Started off with the elbow. I had Tommy John. Then I had knee surgery. Pulled my oblique. Then I had elbow surgery again, I had it in June, this summer.
What do you differently to try to avoid the injuries?
Garcia: I do a lot more stuff for the shoulder, and more forearms, more running. I’m on a better program than I used to have. And also, not going out there, throwing the ball as hard as I can every time I touch a baseball. Now I’m a little more mature. You know you’re spots. After you throw your bullpen, the next day, take it easy. Don’t go out there throwing long toss, throwing the ball hard.
Does it feel good that you haven’t been forgotten through all this?
Garcia: Definitely. It’s awesome. Most people probably would have been forgotten. It definitely feels good that they haven’t forgotten, that they never gave up. It’s very nice.