Garcia has a shot

Luis Garcia has hung on through Mets camp, and with final cuts just around the corner, it appears as though the 26-year-old first baseman just might wind up heading to Cincinnati with the big league club.

Garcia, who signed with the Mets this winter after being let go by the Dodgers organization, is hitting .304 with three home runs this spring. Last year, Garcia – a former pitcher in the Red Sox system – hit .314 with 32 homers and 95 RBI in 129 games at Triple-A Las Vegas, a super-charged offensive park.

If the numbers hold up against the test of Shea Stadium, they could translate into right-handed pop off the bench.

The Mets are likely to carry Eric Valent as the backup to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, so bringing Garcia along would strictly be a luxury – though not as much as carrying Andres Galarraga, who retired this week, since Garcia is younger and would not require a pinch-runner in late-inning situations.

Mets GM Omar Minaya said Garcia's fate depends on the club's unsettled bullpen situation. Manny Aybar, Heath Bell, Bartolome Fortunato, Matt Ginter, Mike Matthews and Jose Santiago are among the names still slugging it out for a precious few roster spots.

"If we go with six relief pitchers instead of seven, Garcia has a definite shot," Minaya told the Westchester (N.Y.) Journal-News. "He swings the bat well, and he has showed us something. We had good scouting reports on him, and they were right."

Rumor Mill

According to the New York Daily News, the Mets inquired about the availability of Tampa Bay Devil Rays reliever Danys Baez, but were told that no players in the Mets system interest the Devil Rays.

Mets Notes

Former Yankees outfielder Elliott Maddox checked in at camp with old teammate Willie Randolph. … LHP Al Leiter starts against his former club Friday night at Tradition Field. He is 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA this spring for the Florida Marlins.

On Deck

LHP Kaz Ishii makes his Mets debut Thursday at Tradition Field when he takes on his former club, the Los Angeles Dodgers. RHP Elmer Dessens is on the hill for the Dodgers.

Subscribe to's Inside Pitch Magazine at

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories