|Injured Garcia isn't ruling out a return|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 12 June 2007 13:32|
The injured right-hander will see renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday for a second opinion on his ailing shoulder. An MRI exam on Monday showed fraying in Garcia's rotator cuff and a problem in the labrum.
The 31-year-old Garcia said surgery is a ``last resort,'' and he hasn't ruled out retuning to the mound this season.
``I hope so. I don't know,'' Garcia said before Tuesday night's game against the Chicago White Sox.
A two-time All-Star, Garcia has been a major bust for the Phillies. The team traded two pitching prospects, former first-round pick Gavin Floyd and left-hander Gio Gonzalez, to the White Sox in December to get Garcia.
The move prompted shortstop Jimmy Rollins to boldly predict the Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East.
Garcia, who is making $10 million this season in the final year of his contract, is 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts. He allowed six runs in 1 2-3 innings against the Royals last Friday and went on the disabled list a day later.
``Before Kansas City, I wasn't feeling I was doing my job,'' Garcia said. ``That's what I get paid for, to pitch good, not embarrass myself.''
If Andrews recommends surgery, Garcia said he would have to strongly consider it, even though it probably would cost him millions on the free-agent market after the season.
``It's for my own good,'' he said. ``I don't want to pitch the way I've been pitching. If I was 100 percent, I'd be pitching good. I got to think about me. I'm going to be a free agent.''
General manager Pat Gillick insisted Garcia wasn't ``damaged goods'' when the team acquired him. Even though some reports said Garcia's velocity was down toward the end of last season, the Phillies didn't make the trade contingent upon him passing a physical.
``We didn't think a physical was necessary,'' Gillick said. ``Our doctors spoke to their doctors and our training staff spoke to theirs and we were satisfied his health was good. Our scouts saw him pitch in September. They thought he was healthy.''
Garcia was 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA for Chicago last season and pitched more than 200 innings for the seventh time in his career. He struggled much of the year, but was outstanding during the final month. Garcia went 4-1 with a 2.49 ERA in his last six starts. He allowed just 15 hits and five runs in 30 innings over his last four outings - all wins.
From his first appearance in spring training, Garcia clearly wasn't the same pitcher who won at least 16 games four times in his first eight seasons. He opened the year on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis and never showed his old form.
``I would have to think (the injury) happened over the winter or in spring training,'' Gillick said, adding he's ``optimistic'' Garcia will pitch again this season.
Right-hander Kyle Kendrick was called up from Double-A Reading to take Garcia's spot in the rotation. He'll make his major league debut Wednesday afternoon.
Brett Myers, the opening-day starter who became the closer, isn't a candidate to replace Garcia when he comes off the disabled list.