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Old 03-11-2007, 04:40 PM   #1
BIGPHILLY
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Default Freddy Garcia = Damaged Goods?

Many scouts said that Garcia had lost a bit off his velocity at the end of the 2006 but he claimed to be okay and the Phils thought he was fine.

Reports are surfacing that he's not throwing real well right now and that's cause for major concern IMO.

That said - it's nice to have Lieber sitting back there.

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/sports/16882895.htm

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Garcia's fastball lags as Madson slings his sliderBy Jim Salisbury
Inquirer Staff Writer
Phils should keep Lieber
Garcia's fastball lags as Madson slings his slider
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Freddy Garcia and Ryan Madson have something in common. Both are searching.

Garcia is trying to rediscover his fastball. Madson is trying to find a consistent third pitch.

Both pitchers worked in a 6-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays yesterday. The results were mixed.

Madson, who has scrapped his curveball in favor of a slider, had his best day yet with the pitch. He threw a half-dozen of them and got three quick outs in the sixth inning.

Garcia, however, didn't wow scouts with his fastball as he went three innings and did not strike out a batter in his first official Grapefruit League start.

The 31-year-old righthander, picked up in a December trade with the White Sox, pitched between 85 and 89 m.p.h. but mostly sat at 87 or 88 m.p.h.

"That's right about where he was at the end of last year," said a scout who watched Garcia from behind the backstop.


Garcia was hit hard in the first inning, allowing four hits and three runs. Neither he nor pitching coach Rich Dubee were concerned about velocity or results.

"It's spring training," Garcia said. "You don't see spring-training stats on the back of a baseball card. I'm working to get ready for the season. My fastball is at about 75 percent right now. It's different when the season starts. You make better pitches."

Dubee said Garcia was on a good track for this stage of spring training. Remember, Garcia is a veteran, not some youngster trying to make the team. His spot is secure, so he has the luxury of methodically preparing himself for the season and not worrying about results.

"Freddy's arm is all right, and that's the big key," Dubee said. "He's starting to pop the ball better. He's still building arm speed. Position players can get ready a lot quicker than pitchers. Pitchers need those reps."

There were concerns about Garcia's velocity last season. The pitcher said he was fatigued after pitching an entire postseason for the World Series champion White Sox in 2005, then participating in the World Baseball Classic last March.

"Last year, I had no time to rest," Garcia said.

Garcia threw 59 pitches and walked two. He will approach 75 pitches his next time out. After the first inning, he had better success when he mixed in breaking balls and splitters.

Garcia or Brett Myers figures to be the opening-day starter. The Phils have an off day Wednesday, and manager Charlie Manuel has indicated he could name an opening-day starter by Thursday.

It won't be Madson. After a failed attempt at starting, he's back in the bullpen this year. If he can add a third pitch to his fastball-changeup repertoire and build some confidence, he could give the Phillies' bullpen a much-needed boost.

Madson, a 26-year-old righthander, has trashed his overhand curveball because it was inconsistent, and he had a difficult time throwing it for strikes. The slider is a breaking ball that breaks later and more laterally as it reaches the plate. A slider would give Madson a second off-speed pitch, particularly against righthanded batters.

"I'm still working on the slider," Madson said. "It's a brand-new pitch. The big thing is trusting it. My fastball and changeup have been good, so I'm working a lot on my slider. If I can get it, it will give me something between my fastball and changeup."

Madson faced three batters and retired them all on a strikeout and two pop outs.

It was a good day for the Phils relievers, who were issued a mild challenge by Manuel on Friday. In addition to Madson, Kane Davis, Antonio Alfonseca and Jim Ed Warden all pitched a scoreless inning.

Nonroster player Brennan King continued to swing a hot bat with three hits, and catcher Jason Jaramillo belted a two-run homer and gunned down a runner trying to steal second.

The Phils also sent a squad to Kissimmee. That club lost, 3-2, in 10 innings to the Astros. Jon Lieber worked four innings and allowed a homer to Luke Scott. It is the only run he has given up in six innings this spring.

Spring sensation Greg Dobbs hit another homer, his third in official games. He has two others in unofficial games.

Jamie Moyer pitches against the Tigers today in Clearwater.


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Old 03-11-2007, 07:26 PM   #2
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i'm just glad that he only needs to be a 3 if things go well
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:10 PM   #3
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this has happened before:

When Freddy entered 2006 missing five miles per hour on his fastball, it looked like he was taking it easy once more. This time around, though, he didn't get the fastball back. Mechanically or physically, something was wrong, and Freddy had to adjust.

Slowly but surely, he did. The opposition hammered Freddy in the first half, grabbing way too much of the strike zone, but even while giving up a lot of hits and home runs, he managed to keep his team in the ballgame. Freddy lived on the verge of disaster nearly each start, but he kept his ERA under 5.00 for a team that was giving him over six runs a game regularly, and he kept his head above water enough to lead the staff in wins at the All-Star break.

In the second half, Freddy still didn't have the heat, but he worked the strike zone (and the area slightly outside of it) with a whole lot more confidence. More curveballs and sliders ended up just outside, and his fastball was effective enough inside to keep hitters honest and cut his homer rate.

Then when Freddy added a splitter to his repertoire, he became a whole new pitcher. He flirted with a no-hitter against the Angels, then followed it up with the same exact performance (8 IP, 1 H) against the Tigers his next time out. He allowed only one homer in his last five starts after averaging more than one gopher ball an outing, and his WHIP was close to 1.00.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:00 AM   #4
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ekravitz - that's a real nice post. Thanks dude.

That's encouraging.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:20 AM   #5
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thanks, BP.

just to be accurate, I didn't write that. I took it from an article.
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Old 03-12-2007, 01:32 PM   #6
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Oh...You still get credit!
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:10 PM   #7
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Garcia may have lost a few miles on his fastball, but he also learned how to pitch. He is also more rested this year and should regain his velocity.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:19 PM   #8
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Garcia left tonight's game in the 1st inning after getting shelled with what is being reported as bicep tightness in his pitching arm...
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vote for Kalas
Garcia left tonight's game in the 1st inning after getting shelled with what is being reported as bicep tightness in his pitching arm...
This isn't good..............
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:38 PM   #10
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Didn't Lieber just have a fit because he's #6?
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