Jaime Garcia pitched pretty well last year. Well enough that not one, but two contending teams acquired him late last July. Well enough to generate 2.1 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs. The Toronto Blue Jays would likely welcome a repeat of the 4.41 ERA and 157 innings he provided in 2018. That’s the kind of production they missed in 2017, when the likes of Nick Tepesch, Cesar Valdez and Casey Lawrence were called on to fill in all too often. To Garcia, though, that’s not the expectation. He’s expecting his 10th season in the big leagues to be his best yet, even if he’ll be pitching in one of baseball’s toughest divisions. “I’m ready for that challenge,” he said. “I believe in my stuff. I believe that the best of my career is yet to come even though I’ve been through a lot, and I’m welcoming that challenge.” Garcia’s best seasons to date came early in his career in St. Louis. He placed third in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2010 after posting a 2.70 ERA in 28 starts. The following season he logged 194.2 innings while posting a 3.56 ERA. But he has since battled injuries that required shoulder surgery in 2013 and thoracic outlet surgery in 2014. After signing a one-year deal worth $10 million with the Blue Jays Thursday, Garcia joined his new teammates in Dunedin, Fla. Friday morning. A groundball pitcher, he generates more than his share of weak contact with an effective two-seamer. At 31 years old, he still averages 90.7 m.p.h. with the fastball.
Blue Jays’ Jaime Garcia believes his best years are ahead of him
Sportsnet | Feb 17