B-Mets' Garcia gaining comfort

When the Mets traded Armando Benitez to the Yankees in 2003, many assumed it was a trade solely made to free themselves of the problematic closer. However, few knew that the Mets actually received a potent young relief pitcher by the name of Anderson Garcia.

"He's got some of the nastiest stuff I've seen," said catcher Andy Wilson. "He's got a real hard sinker, when his slider is on, its on, and he can also throw a change-up for a strike, when all three of them are working, he's lights out."

Garcia, a native of Santo Domingo, DR, was able to get his sinker ball up to 94 MPH in spring training and got his slider around the low 80s. Placed on the Mets 40-man roster prior to spring training, Garcia is slowly moving up in the Mets organization.

"I've been here before as this is my second year at Binghamton," said Garcia. "I'm getting the experience and I'm feeling more and more comfortable every day."

Last year, Garcia split the season between Binghamton and High-A St. Lucie, combining for a 6-4 mark, eight saves and a 4.19 ERA in 46 appearances. He allowed 80 hits and 29 walks while striking out a solid 61 batters in 77 1/3 innings.

"He's a power guy, that is going to come in the 8th inning and get a couple of right-handed hitters out," said pitching coach Mark Brewer. "He can get the game to the closer and that's the type of role he'll have when he gets to the big leagues."

Righties are Garcia's specialty as they hit .136 and no home runs against him in the 2005 season. Although, lefties batted .364 with two home runs, Garcia's teammates feel the game is safe when he's on the mound.

"We know when Anderson comes in, we have a pretty good chance to get out of things," said Wilson. "He has the ability to forget about one bad pitch and comes right back at the next hitter."

This year, Garcia has gotten off to a great start. In 14.1 innings, Anderson has yielded a 1.26 ERA with 13 strikeouts, 3 walks, and one save. He has allowed 14 hits but only has giving up two earned runs. Him and closer Henry Owens have provided Binghamton with one of the legit bullpens out of the Eastern League Northern.

"I just need to keep pitching, the way I've been pitching and everything should work itself out," said Garcia.

If everything does work out, don't expect Garcia to be in Binghamton any much longer.

"He's got the stuff right now to make it, as long as he stays consistent, and brings his A game to the field, he can play in the majors right now," said Wilson.


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