Cardinals Add Fourth Veteran Pitcher in Recent Days – Luis Garcia

photo: Luis Garcia (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Friday, July 9) that they have signed veteran right-handed pitcher Luis García to a free-agent contract, and that he will join the team for its series-opening game this afternoon in Chicago.

To make room for García on the team’s 26-player active roster, right-handed pitcher Johan Oviedo was optioned to Memphis (AAA).  Pitcher Carlos Martínez (right thumb sprain) has been transferred to the 60-day Injured List allowing for García’s addition to the team’s 40-player Major League roster.

García, 34, has spent eight seasons in the majors with Philadelphia (2013-18), Los Angeles Angels (2019) and Texas (2020).  The 6-2, 240-pound García has appeared in 326 career games (all but four as a reliever) and has compiled a career mark of 14-17 with a 4.26 ERA in 315.0 innings pitched.

García worked in 60 or more games in three of five seasons from 2015-2019, including a career-high 72 in 2015 for the Phillies, and he logged 59 games in 2018.

The Santo Domingo, D.R. native was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an International free agent in 2004 just days before his 17th birthday and he debuted in the States in 2007 with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers.  García has appeared in 258 career games in the minors, most recently with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.

In 18 games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders this season, García was 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA, striking out 19 in 17.1 innings of relief with just three walks allowed.  García, who was released by the Yankees on July 6, made his last appearance for the RailRiders on June 26.

Luis Garcia

García joins recent additions to the Cardinals pitching staff over the past three weeks that have included Wade LeBlanc, Brandon Waddell and Justin Miller.

García has been assigned uniform no. 66.

Brian Walton’s take

As noted above, the Cardinals continue to reclaim veteran pitchers that other teams have given up on. This has been required as the club’s minor league depth has mostly been exhausted to compensate for the spate of injuries suffered by St. Louis pitching.

Speaking of which, the move to the 60-day IL with Martinez puts a boundary around his return from the torn ligament in his thumb. Even if he is well enough to pitch in September, rejoining the rotation this season feels like a remote possibility, given the buildup time that would be required to start.

Manager Mike Shildt mentioned on Friday that Martinez “has some choices” to make about his recovery plan. Surgery was not mentioned specifically, but must be a possibility, With two option years ahead at a costly rate based on his recent production, the 29-year-old may be done as a Cardinal.

Carlos Martinez

Oviedo, who has had to learn how to be a major league pitcher via the school of hard knocks, is being sent down to Memphis to stay on a semi-regular starting schedule. He is tentatively scheduled to take the ball for the Redbirds next Tuesday, with his potential return to St. Louis to be determined after that, Shildt said on Friday.

Johan Oviedo

For more

To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.

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