Garcia's Move To DL Opens Spot For Mesa

At least there's a reason why Freddy Garcia has pitched so badly as a Phillie. On Saturday, the Phillies placed Garcia on the 15 day DL with a right shoulder strain, making room for an old acquaintance to return.

After the worst in a string of poor starts for the Phillies on Friday night, Freddy Garcia got an earful from his manager.

"You look to me like you're hurt," Charlie Manuel told Garcia after a six-run second inning knocked him from the game, "and I do not want somebody that's hurt pitching for me. If there's something wrong, I have to know it."

That's when Garcia confessed. His right shoulder is sore and has been for a while. He'll see team physician Michael Ciccotti on Monday in Philadelphia.

"I don't have much to say," said Garcia, indicating he feels pain when he releases the ball. "I don't want to pitch the way I've been pitching if I'm not 100 percent. I cannot pitch this way."

Garcia is 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts after getting rocked for seven hits and two walks, retiring five of 14 batters and throwing only 50 pitches against the Royals in 1 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since Aug. 1, 2003 with the Seattle Mariners.

Garcia might miss several starts. The prototypical workhorse (he's tossed 200 or more innings in six straight seasons) is even bracing for the worst: a potential surgery.

"Whatever is good for me," Garcia said. "I know I'll be a free agent this (winter). If I have to (have surgery), I'll take my time to recover and work hard to come back."

Meanwhile, the Phillies have pushed off a decision on who will start Wednesday's game in place of Garcia. Garcia's roster spot was taken by Jose Mesa who joined the team in Kansas City and was available to pitch Saturday night. Mesa, the franchise leader with 111 saves, was poised to sign a minor league contract with the Phillies after being released by the Detroit Tigers on June 3, but Garcia's injury pushed open a door for the Phillies to add Mesa to the 25 man roster.

Mesa, the Phillies' closer from 2001 through 2003, registered a 12.34 ERA in 16 appearances for the Tigers. Now 41, Mesa has pitched for eight teams in his 19-year major league career and ranks 13th on the all-time list with 320 saves.

As for a starter, the Phillies will consider minor league options, but won't push reliever Ryan Madson into an emergency start. Ottawa's J.D. Durbin (2-4, 5.13 ERA) and Zack Segovia (1-7, 4.79) are all candidates as is Reading's Kyle Kendrick (4-7, 3.21).

Durbin started for Ottawa last Wednesday and Segovia started on Thursday. Kendrick is slated to start for Reading again on Tuesday, meaning that all three potential starters could conceivably pitch for the Phillies Wednesday against the White Sox.

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