Last week the Detroit News reported that Tigers prospect Bryan Garcia is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews about his elbow soreness.
Bryan Garcia might not play an inning of baseball in 2018. While most people spend Valentine’s Day with their significant other, Garcia is spending his at the doctors. In today’s day and age, Tommy John surgery is becoming a common thing for pitchers. There’s a minority in the realm of baseball that thinks Tommy John surgery is avoidable. One advocate is Dr. Mike Marshall, I had a chance to interview and did an in-depth piece of his philosophy which you can read here.
A big part of Marshall’s argument lied in that pitchers wind ups are a causation of Tommy John surge.
Part of Marshall’s argument lies in how outfielders throw; they don’t throw like pitchers, and the speed of their ball is above (on average) five to eight miles an hour faster than the speed on the mound, and you don’t see them throwing like a pitcher with the high leg kick. “Maybe you outta do that on the mound,” Marshall says. The traditional baseball pitching motion is bumming up knees and backs, consequences that are unnecessary according to Marshall.
The RHP saw his stock rise following his 2017 campaign in the minor leagues, posting a 2.78 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 55 innings of work. Garcia finds himself ranked 23 on MLB.com’s top 30 for the Tigers organization. There is optimism in all of this for the RHP. Tommy John surgery isn’t a career-ending surgery. Brian Wilson had two and managed to pitch in the big leagues afterward.
Even if Garcia is lucky enough to avoid Tommy John surgery the Tigers would probably pitch him lightly in 2018, avoiding further risking injury. Garcia holds the University of Maimi’s all-time saves record. The Detroit Tigers selected him in the sixth round of the 2016 draft. Garcia gets high remarks for his fastball and has reportedly added a changeup to his pitching repertoire. Like many prospects, he struggles with his command but is projected to be a valuable set up man in the future.
John Sickels of Minor League Ball believes Garcia will wind up in the majors by 2019. The latest reports surrounding his elbow might push that back until 2020. Regardless, Garcia should ascend quickly until the majors, as he’s had no history of elbow or arm injuries in the past.
(Top Photo: R. Frank photography via Erie SeaWolves)