Jason Garcia's second big league camp will be much different than his first.
After selecting Garcia in the Rule 5 draft before last season, the Orioles had to figure out a way to carry Garcia, who hadn't previously pitched above Single-A. Now, the team has the freedom to send Garcia to the minors instead of forcing him to develop at the major league level.
"He's got a good arm," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Saturday after Garcia threw his first bullpen session of the spring. "We said 100 times last year, if we can get through the year we're going to like having this guy in our organization next year. Not that we didn't last year. He pitched like one of the guys for periods last year. I was glad where he ended up the end of the year. I would have signed up for that. He has a chance to be pretty good."
Garcia, 23, opened last season with a 5.93 ERA in his first eight appearances before going on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. He proceeded to post a 2.81 ERA in 13 appearances after his return from injury.
"I saw it the last two months of the season," Showalter said. "We all saw it. He knows he belongs. He can do this. He might even do it this year in April. Who knows? This guy's competing for a spot. It's just about gaining trust in him."
Even though Garcia is competing for a bullpen spot this spring, Showalter said the toughest decision is determining whether his long-term future is as a starter or a reliever.
"[It's] whether you put him in as a reliever and he throws two to three innings every third day or do you start him with the four days and the work day?" Showalter said. "Then you run into some inning issues if you start him, which you can control. That's provided he doesn't make this club. I expect him to have a good spring. I never tell the guys I expect to have a bad spring."
Around the horn
Free-agent right-hander Tim Lincecum, who is returning from hip surgery, has yet to conduct any private workouts for clubs, but the Orioles remain among the teams monitoring the two-time Cy Young Award winner, according to sources. "We haven't seen him yet," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said. … Showalter said he noticed that right-hander Hunter Harvey had a higher arm slot during his bullpen session Saturday. "He's higher than he was," Showalter said. "It's a good sign. His arm action's higher. He's one of those guys that when they warm up on the side, it's not the same delivery as when they get on a mound and throw downhill. ... [Bullpen coach Dom Chiti] saw the same thing. He's going to be a little higher, which is a good indicator." … Right-hander Todd Redmond missed his second day of camp Saturday because of a family situation. Showalter said he expects him to report for Sunday's workout. ... Center Fielder Adam Jones is expected to arrive at camp Sunday, Showalter said. … Outfielder Joey Rickard, the club's Rule 5 pick, reported to camp Saturday. … More than approximately 1,000 fans attended the Orioles' SpringFest event during Saturday's workout at the Ed Smith Stadium facility, the club announced.