JUPITER, Fla. – Jaime Garcia has said for weeks that everything is fine with his shoulder and he’s ready to be a normal member of the starting rotation this year.
He sure did his part to convince folks watching on Saturday.
Taking part in his first live batting practice session of the spring Saturday morning on Field 1, Garcia faced a group of hitters in a 40-pitch outing and looked like the healthy left-hander that won 13 games in both 2010 and 2011.
“It’s exciting,” Garcia said. “Everything felt good for the first time. It feels like its coming out good. Everything is where it needs to be.
“I think I’m right on schedule. Everything is going good.”
Jaime Garcia pitched in 20 games in 2012 - will he pitch in more or fewer games in 2013? Share your thoughts.
Garcia appeared to have a smoother, more normal looking delivery than the one that his shoulder forced him to pitch with at times last season. The left-hander missed nearly three months during the regular season with a left shoulder injury and had to come out of his start in Game 2 of the Division Series after the second inning.
The lefty went 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA in 20 starts in 2012. He enters the second year of a four-year, $27 million deal this season. And after several months of rehab and rest this winter, Garcia is hoping for a bounce back year.
“I worked really hard this offseason and the bottom line is that I’m healthy and I’m going to go out there until my arm falls off,” Garcia said. “It’s bad to say it like that but I’m going to battle. It all starts with being healthy. I’m healthy right now and I just have to keep working hard every day.”