If you’ve watched Orioles right-hander Freddy Garcia through the last few years, you know he doesn’t have a lot of margin for error.
He’s around the plate a lot – and he doesn’t throw hard.
So when he gets hit, he really can get hit. The San Diego Padres, who cut Garcia this spring, really hit him Wednesday.
In the first inning, Garcia did what he’s made a career out of doing: getting out of jams. He had runners at first and second and one out and he induced an inning-ending double play.
But he wasn’t so fortunate after that.
The 36-year-old allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits, including a homer, and walked two.
After taking a no-hitter into the seventh in his Orioles debut on May 4, Garcia (0-2) has not been effective in his past two starts.
He has given up eight runs (9 2/3 innings) for a 7.45 ERA.
Garcia is flawed, but he also can be an innings-eater and often keeps his teams in games. And right now the Orioles only have three starters (with Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez injured) in their rotation, so Garcia’s services and experiences are needed.
It was worth the experiment to sign Garcia to a minor league deal and give him a shot. And that experiment probably needs to continue for a couple more starts. They don’t have many alternatives, especially when it comes to experienced arms (Jair Jurrjens is expected to join the Orioles for Saturday’s start).
Wednesday was the bad that comes along with Freddy Garcia. But he also showed the good on May 4.
The Orioles have to deal with both right now, and hope that the good wins out. But the leash shouldn’t be excessively long, either.
Two or three more starts, though, seems reasonable for the Orioles to hope the effective Garcia emerges.