As pitcher Christian Garcia took the mound on September 4, 2012, in Washington, he was about to make his major league debut, with thousands of fans waiting for him to get the batter to whiff. He didn’t get a strikeout, but Garcia did get Wellington Castillo of the Cubs to pop out to Adam LaRoche to end the inning.
On August 24, 1985, Christian was born in Miami, Florida, a city where lots of MLB players are born. He grew up rooting for the New York Yankees and the Florida Marlins when the Marlins formed in 1993. Garcia attended high school at Gulliver Preparatory School in Coral Gables, FL. After that, he enrolled into the University of South Carolina, on a baseball scholarship, and pitched for the South Carolina Gamecocks. As well as pitcher, Garcia was a switch-hitting catcher.
In the 2004 draft, Christian was selected by the New York Yankees in the third round. He quickly got on the Gulf Coast League Yankees. He did such a good job at Rookie-A, he got promoted to the Single-A Charleston River Dogs. Later, the Trenton Thunder became his team, and Garcia took the same mound that Tyler Clippard was on when Clippard threw a no-hitter on 2 years ago. I think the Garcia family saw him as a Yankee. But when he tore his ulnar collateral ligament in 2010, he couldn’t play for New York despite him being on the 40-man roster.
The Washington Nationals grabbed Garcia in late 2011, and started playing for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and later, the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. He was promoted to the Show in early September (September 3rd) and debuted the next day. The first batter was Wellington Castillo, sure enough, and induced a pop out. He later pitched the 6 and 7th innings of the rain delay game against the Marlins that brought us the famous Jayson Werth home run in the 9th and Corey Brown walk-off in the 10th. I actually saw that game! He was a good reliever who kept the game close in the 7th inning.
There is some concern or guessing about whether the Nats will have their full 5 man rotation if the Gio PED issue does not go the way we hope. If Gio is not able to play the full season (and I don’t think that will happen), the rotation could go Strasburg, Zimmermann, Detwiler, Haren, Garcia because there is talk about Davey wanting to make him a starter in 2013. GO NATS!