What happened to Luis Garcia? How long will he be out for?

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All you need to know about what happened to Houston Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia, and his extent of injury.

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On Friday, the news that right-hander Luis Garcia, a key component of the Houston Astros rotation, will need to have Tommy John surgery and will therefore miss the remainder of the 2023 season was a blow to the defending world champion Houston Astros. Garcia is a fundamental element of the rotation. The issue that arises as a direct result of his absence is how to deal with it.

To say the obvious, this won’t be an easy task, especially at this point in the regular season, which is around a month in. Since becoming a permanent member of Houston’s pitching staff late in the COVID-abridged 2020 season, Garcia, who is now 26 years old, has maintained a consistent presence for the Astros, with a 3.61 ERA (115 ERA+) and 3.80 K/BB ratio during his time with the Astros.

Garcia has made 63 starts and six appearances in relief while playing for the Houston Astros in Major League Baseball over the course of four MLB seasons. This does not include the six starts and two relief appearances that Garcia has made in the postseason.

Given that it is still early in the month of May, it is too soon for any kind of trade market to have crystallized, and this is especially true for a position that is as intensely sought after as the starting pitcher. That indicates that Houston will be required to search within, at least for the time being.

When it came to depth in their starting rotation, the Astros were the envy of virtually every other team not too long ago. After that, the American League Cy Young Award winner from the previous season, Justin Verlander, signed a deal to play with the Mets.

Because of an elbow issue, Lance McCullers Jr. has not yet thrown a pitch that counts this season, but he is making progress. This only makes the situation worse. McCullers recently disclosed to the media that he has been throwing off the mound and is making progress toward regaining the ability to throw breaking balls at full capacity. There is not yet a specific timeframe, but there is movement in the right direction toward a rehab assignment in the lower leagues.

Right-handed batter José Urquidy, who was just placed on the injured list due to shoulder problems, is another player to consider. It is not yet known how long he will be out of commission. Because of all of this, Houston is now extremely dependent on young players who have little to no experience, and the city is waiting with bated breath for McCullers and Urquidy to come back.

Who will replace Luis Garcia?

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For the time being, that is the only way that Houston can move forward; it will have to rely, possibly excessively, on young people and unknown quantities. Aces Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier are currently part of the Houston Astros’ five-man rotation. Javier is a really capable pitcher. The remaining sixty percent, on the other hand, holds a lot less potential.

Hunter Brown, a right-handed pitcher who is 24 years old and was drafted in the fifth round before, opened the season as the top prospect for the Astros and as one of the best pitching prospects available anywhere.

To this point, he has been quite successful as a member of the Houston rotation, posting an earned run average of 2.60 and recording more strikeouts than innings pitched. Additionally, he has not given up a home run so far this season. Control, on the other hand, has been a difficulty at times, and at some point in the future, the percentage of home runs will decline at least a little bit.

The crucial concern is whether or whether Brown, who has already started six games in 2023, will be able to handle the significant increase in playing time that is most likely in store for him. His total of 126 and one-third innings pitched last year between Triple-A and the majors set a new professional high for him in terms of innings pitched. Additionally, out of his 30 starts, just 16 of those games were complete starts.

Due to the fact that Garcia has been injured, Brown’s role as a temporary replacement for McCullers has evolved beyond that of a simple stop-gap. In the absence of any other elements from the outside, he now appears as a constant presence. A considerable increase in Brown’s workload can be seen in the fact that he is currently on track to pitch in excess of 180 innings throughout the current season.

It is reasonable to suppose that the pitches that are thrown at the highest level for a team that is trying to defend their title as World Series winners are under a bit more pressure than the pitches that are thrown for the 2022 Sugar Land Space Cowboys. The Astros need Brown to be able to carry that weight without suffering any injuries or experiencing a significant drop in performance in order to win. That is a significant request for a novice.

When was Luis Garcia drafted?

The Philadelphia Phillies took a chance on the young pitcher Luis Garcia and signed him as an international free agent on July 2, 2017, when he was only 16 years old. Garcia currently plays for the Houston Astros. Before being dealt to the Astros in December 2019 as part of a transaction for the starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, he was with the Phillies organisation for a total of three years in the minor leagues.

Garcia, despite his young age, showed during his time pitching in the minor leagues that he possesses a great deal of potential as a pitcher. In his debut year as a professional baseball player, he threw for the Phillies’ Dominican Summer League team. Over the course of 49 innings pitched, he recorded 46 strikeouts and had an earned run average of 1.28. After that, in 2018, he pitched for a team in the Gulf Coast League, where he had a 3.30 earned run average and 45 strikeouts in 46.1 innings pitched.

Garcia spent the 2019 season pitching for the Phillies’ Single-A club, the Lakewood BlueClaws. In 105 innings worked for that team, Garcia had a 3.82 earned run average and 129 strikeouts. Because of his performance, he was selected to play for the World Team in the 2019 All-Star Futures Game, which is a competition that features the most promising young players in baseball.
Garcia, at 23 years old, made his major league baseball debut on July 27, 2020, with the Astros after being traded to them.

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