When I first saw the news that Christian Garcia would be sidelined and have to cancel a bullpen session, I immediately thought the worst. He has been plagued with arm troubles throughout his career and this would be the start of them coming back. However, Garcia’s troubles have nothing to do with his arm, but severe cramps in his stomach that come and go. There was also word of some discomfort in his wrist.
February 20, 2013; Viera, FL, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Christian Garcia (56) poses for photo day at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
The team and Garcia are hoping it clears itself up in a few days, but will be monitoring the situation. It isn’t great news that this has occurred, and it is possible that it could be a medical ailment that ends up being more serious, but it isn’t as disastrous as it could have been.
Garcia’s role on the 2013 Nationals team is up in the air, but with the team wanting to turn him into a starter and the team’s bullpen jobs pretty much set – at least from the right side – Garcia looks to be starting the season in the minors. That means a slow start to Spring isn’t the end of the world and the team can still ease him along with no rushing necessary. Garcia will be available should injury or struggles hit anyone on the Nationals staff but with Zach Duke, Ross Ohlendorf and the lingering question of Javier Vazquez, the team does have some backup should Garcia’s transition not be complete.
There have already been several pitchers, including Dustin McGowan and Shelby Miller who have been slowed down or shut down already this Spring with arm ailments and there are sure to be others. The fact that Garcia’s injury is not related to his arm is a good thing for now as the Nationals get set to start their Spring schedule over the weekend.