Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dodgers recall Onelki Garcia to be third left-hander out of the bullpen

In a move I thought would happen, the Dodgers recalled Onelki Garcia to add to the bullpen. The Cuban left-hander will be the Dodgers' third lefty out of the bullpen.

This is what I wrote about Garcia in August when the Dodgers promoted him to Triple-A.
"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. "
Disregard the text that's struckthrough -- it was inaccurate. Garcia is playoff-eligible. If the Dodgers want him on the roster, he'll be there.

Eric Stephen of True Blue LA asked Don Mattingly about potentially recalling Garcia on Sept. 1. This is what the manager said:
"Just listening to some of our guys who have seen him this year, they're really happy with the way he's going," Mattingly said. "As the season went on, he got better and better. He's kinda getting on the radar."
I'm just not sure what took the Dodgers so long to bring him up. He has the ability to be more than "just another lefty."

I like the move. Garcia is an older prospect (24 years old, 2012 third-round draftee) with plus-stuff. He could be a wild card for the Dodgers while giving guys like J.P. Howell and Paco Rodriguez some much-needed rest.

Photo creditYouTube screen cap, Chris Blessing

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