Monday, August 12, 2013

Dodgers, surprisingly, promote LHP Onelki Garcia to Triple-A Albuquerque

Word broke on Sunday that the Dodgers had promoted left-handed pitcher Onelki Garcia from Double-A Chattanooga to Triple-A Albuquerque.

The corresponding move was lefty Rob Rasmussen was demoted to Chattanooga. It was reported he'd be pitching exclusively out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season. He didn't fare too well in Triple-A after having a really nice go of it in the Southern League to start the season.

Garcia, 24, was the Dodgers' 2012 third-round draft pick out of Cuba (after being declared draft-eligible) and opened some eyes during the 2012 Southern League playoffs.

He began the 2013 in the Lookouts' rotation. He averaged less than four innings per start (19 1/3 innings) due to control issues. He walked more batters (15) than he struck out (13), but was still able to post a solid 3.72 ERA  and .231 batting average against. He was only throwing 52 percent of his pitches for strikes, which helped lead to him allowing nearly a .390 on-base percentage, which won't do.

In his only other start (June 3), he lasted just two innings, allowed six hits, four runs (three earned), walked one and struck out four.

Since that time, he's pitched out of the bullpen -- and been pretty good. The following numbers include a two-inning relief appearance on May 30:

33 1/3 IP
20 H
6 R
5 ER
16 BB
36 K
1.35 ERA
.175 BAA

He's been much better out of the bullpen. While his future probably ultimately lies in the 'pen, I'd have liked to see him get a chance at starting again before any kind of promotion.

The Dodgers could view Garcia as a possible September call-up, hence the move. But if they want him to be playoff-eligible (which may or may not be the case), he'll need to be on the 25-man roster (or major league disabled list) by 6 p.m. on Aug. 31. The same goes for every player on the 40-man roster -- which Garcia isn't even on at the moment.

Garcia's low-to-mid-90s fastball plays up out of the bullpen. He can sink it, hence a 2.27 ground out-to-fly out ratio in his last 18 appearances. He also has a power curveball that acts like a slider at times. His changeup is fringy at best, hence a probable future as a late-inning reliever. He can get righties out, so he's definitely not a LOOGY.

I'd be surprised if the Dodgers added him to the active roster before Aug. 31. Then again, I didn't see a promotion to Triple-A coming, so a call-up wouldn't be out of the question.

Photo credit: YouTube screen cap, Chris Blessing


  1. I don't know anything about either of these guys, but just from looking at stats, seems to me Yimi Garcia is by far the more dominating pitcher out of the pen than this guy Onelki Garcia.

    1. I'm a big Yimi Garcia fan. Remember seeing him in spring training. His velocity doesn't coincide with his numbers (low-90s), but he's been good at every level and a legit call-up option next season.

      Onelki has better stuff, but Yimi is solid in his own right. Much better control.