The Baltimore Orioles have three starting pitching spots in their rotation that are vacant. One of those spots is assumed to be for a lefty. There is one left-handed pitcher that comes to mind: Jaime Garcia.
For much of the week, there has been talk of the Orioles being interested in bringing back starting pitcher Wade Miley. Miley, 30, pitched to an 8-15 record, with a 5.61 ERA in 32 games with the Orioles last year. Baltimore owns a $12 million option for next season, but if they decide to opt out, it will cost them $5oo,000. With how poorly Miley pitched, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he isn’t brought back.
Here’s where Garcia pops in:
- Left-handed starter (Baltimore currently has none)
- World Series champion, winning one with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011
- Consistent pitcher (67-55 record, 3.69 ERA in his career)
- He won’t come expensively (Spotrac has his current value at $12,148,064 per season)
- He’s 31 and bounced around last season (This will give the Orioles some leverage.
Last season, Garcia pitched with three different teams. He began the season with the Atlanta Braves, pitching to a 4-7 record and a 4.30 ERA in 18 starts. Garcia was then traded to the Minnesota Twins, making just one start, giving up three runs in 6.2 innings. Then, he made eight more starts with the New York Yankees, pitching to an 0-3 record and a 4.82 ERA in eight starts.
The biggest key for Garcia is getting back to what made him the pitcher that he is. He relies on his movement, throwing a fastball, curveball, slider and a changeup. When Garcia keeps the ball low, he is incredibly successful. In a chart from Brooks Baseball, Garcia’s highest percentage of whiffs come from pitches at the bottom of the zone.
The Orioles could use a pitcher who relies on control, rather than power. Currently, two of their starters in Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy have an immense amount of power behind their pitches. Adding Garcia would give the Orioles a control pitcher, who juxtaposes the two power arms.
Depending on how much Miley gets on the open market, which may be more or less than Garcia, based on his National League stats, Garcia can receive a reasonable deal from Baltimore. He isn’t going to make the Orioles break the bank. It isn’t to say that he is far and away the greatest of options, but he offers and intriguing one as a third or fourth starter.
(PHOTO BY FRANK JANSKY/ICON SPORTSWIRE)