Right-hander Jason Garcia, one of the Orioles' two Rule 5 picks this spring, is considered a long shot to make the Opening Day roster, especially considering the number of relievers in camp and the fact that he hasn't pitched above Low-A.
But it didn't stop Orioles staff and coaches from coming away impressed with his performance in the intrasquad game Sunday.
Garcia pitched a perfect fourth inning, striking out Nolan Reimold looking on a slider and Matt Tuiasosopo swinging. His fastball was clocked in the mid-90s.
"It felt good," Garcia said of his first time throwing to major league hitters. "It's what you work for, throwing against those guys. Definitely, it was a thrill. Pretty nervous out there, but it was awesome."
Garcia said he was slightly surprised that his velocity was that high this early in camp, especially because he usually is prepared to compete for a starting rotation job.
"[With] Garcia, you seemed to always feel like he could go to another level if he needs to," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He had a couple of our guys from the bench up to the top step. …
"That's pretty easy, too. It wasn't max effort. That's why I say he's one of those guys who can go get a little more if he needs to."
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Garcia, whose velocity has picked up since he underwent Tommy John surgery two years ago, said he's trying to block out any added attention this spring
"To be honest, I try not to think about it too much," Garcia said. "I try to just stay even, not get too high or too low. …
"Stay in the now. That seems to be the big thing that everyone talks about. Don't dwell on too much of what you've done, and try not to think about what's ahead of you too much. Just stay in the now."
Around the horn
Left-hander T.J. McFarland, who retired all five hitters he faced in the intrasquad game, had been dealing with some soreness in recent days because of an adjustment in his delivery. "There's something [the coaches are] trying to do,'' Showalter said. "... Jim Palmer has a great analogy or comparison that you want to be more like a ferris wheel instead of a merry-go-round. Mac sometimes gets side-to-side. The more he gets up like a ferris wheel, the more he gets sink and carry through the zone. So he's actually sore in a couple of spots because he's doing some things he's never done before." … New Orioles infielder Everth Cabrera started at shortstop in the intrasquad game and reached base twice, hitting a single to right field in the third inning and drawing a walk in the fifth. … Designated hitter Delmon Young also reached base twice. He hit a leadoff double — the only extra-base hit in the game — to left field in his first at-bat in the second and walked in the fourth. … Several starters won't make the trip to Lakeland for Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener against the Detroit Tigers, including Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy, Steve Pearce and Wieters. … Showalter said Caleb Joseph, whose wife was due to deliver the couple's first baby Sunday, won't make any road trips until the baby is born. … Every position player received at least one at-bat in the intrasqaud game with the exception of outfielder Henry Urrutia.