Garcia Building Up The Old Number One

TAMPA, FL - Christian Garcia is one the most talented pitchers in the farm system and yet he has also been one to miss a ton of time with injuries over the last few years. Looking very sharp in camp thus far this season, his main plan of attack this Spring is to build up his arm strength by going back to the old 'number one'.

Christian Garcia was never fully healthy last season and yet nobody really knew it because he still posted a very impressive 0.71 ERA in five starts for the Double-A Trenton Thunder.

So while he's been arguably the most impressive pitcher in camp this year, the underlying question remains: how is he feeling?

"I feel good," he admitted. "The more I get out there the better I'm feeling. I'm getting some ups and downs, but coming from a surgery you're going to have some ups and some downs.

"Hopefully I'll have more ups though. In between my starts I feel some soreness but nothing too bad."

Garcia says the biggest difference in the way he feels this year compared to last is more soreness than pain and it hasn't occurred during the games, which is perhaps the biggest factor.

And while nobody could really tell last year that he was pitching with pain because the statistics were so good, the fact that he was only 90-93 mph with his fastball in the middle of the season wasn't a good sign.

This Spring, however, especially in his last start, he is already seeing a slight bump in velocity in comparison to last year. Averaging 91-94 mph in his last start in Clearwater last week, Garcia can feel the power coming back in his arm.

"Definitely," he said. "In my last start I felt if I needed to put a little more on it I could do it. I could feel it coming out of my hand and I could see by the hitter's reaction that it was coming in hard."

Still, for a pitcher who has missed so much time, he fully understands that to get back to his normal plus range it's going to take a lot more of what he has been doing lately.

"The biggest thing I need work on, obviously aside from staying healthy, is just repeating everything I do," Garcia said. "Repeating delivery, command on all four pitches – my fastball, curve, change, and sinker – and be able to just go out there and compete."

Getting out there every five days is a big part of the plan and it's been his biggest problem over the years. The other vital part of the equation is something he had gotten away from as recently as last year.

"Just talking to some of the guys in big league camp they were telling me that to get that velocity back you've got to throw the fastball more, if you don't use it you'll lose it type of thing," he said. "So I've just been throwing my fastball [more often]."

A bit too reliant on his great offspeed pitches last year, Garcia now knows throwing his fastball more will help him regain his power quicker. But he also points out that it starts with being healthy, and that he is.

"I also feel more comfortable though," he continued. "Last year I didn't feel like my command is as good as it is now. If I throw a fastball right now I know where it's going so I feel very comfortable to throw my fastball more and being able to command it.

"I definitely feel better and it just shows by the command where last year when I was in pain – it's hard to throw your pitches with command when you're having to do different things to relieve the pain and stressing the arm."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nChristian Garcia was never fully healthy last season and yet nobody really knew it because he still posted a very impressive 0.71 ERA in five starts for the Double-A Trenton Thunder.
\r\n
\r\nSo while he's been arguably the most impressive pitcher in camp this year, the underlying question remains: how is he feeling?
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel good,\" he admitted. \"The more I get out there the better I'm feeling. I'm getting some ups and downs, but coming from a surgery you're going to have some ups and some downs.
\r\n
\r\n\"Hopefully I'll have more ups though. In between my starts I feel some soreness but nothing too bad.\"
\r\n
\r\nGarcia says the biggest difference in the way he feels this year compared to last is more soreness than pain and it hasn't occurred during the games, which is perhaps the biggest factor.
\r\n
\r\nAnd while nobody could really tell last year that he was pitching with pain because the statistics were so good, the fact that he was only 90-93 mph with his fastball in the middle of the season wasn't a good sign.
\r\n
\r\nThis Spring, however, especially in his last start, he is already seeing a slight bump in velocity in comparison to last year. Averaging 91-94 mph in his last start in Clearwater last week, Garcia can feel the power coming back in his arm.
\r\n
\r\n\"Definitely,\" he said. \"In my last start I felt if I needed to put a little more on it I could do it. I could feel it coming out of my hand and I could see by the hitter's reaction that it was coming in hard.\"
\r\n
\r\nStill, for a pitcher who has missed so much time, he fully understands that to get back to his normal plus range it's going to take a lot more of what he has been doing lately.
\r\n
\r\n\"The biggest thing I need work on, obviously aside from staying healthy, is just repeating everything I do,\" Garcia said. \"Repeating delivery, command on all four pitches – my fastball, curve, change, and sinker – and be able to just go out there and compete.\"
\r\n
\r\nGetting out there every five days is a big part of the plan and it's been his biggest problem over the years. The other vital part of the equation is something he had gotten away from as recently as last year.
\r\n
\r\n\"Just talking to some of the guys in big league camp they were telling me that to get that velocity back you've got to throw the fastball more, if you don't use it you'll lose it type of thing,\" he said. \"So I've just been throwing my fastball [more often].\"
\r\n
\r\nA bit too reliant on his great offspeed pitches last year, Garcia now knows throwing his fastball more will help him regain his power quicker. But he also points out that it starts with being healthy, and that he is.
\r\n
\r\n\"I also feel more comfortable though,\" he continued. \"Last year I didn't feel like my command is as good as it is now. If I throw a fastball right now I know where it's going so I feel very comfortable to throw my fastball more and being able to command it.
\r\n
\r\n\"I definitely feel better and it just shows by the command where last year when I was in pain – it's hard to throw your pitches with command when you're having to do different things to relieve the pain and stressing the arm.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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