Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 11/20/14

A bit over half way through the season, I was covering a game at Nationals Park. Between innings, when the team does their Down on the Farm Report, they teased Christian Garcia’s minor league numbers. I knew of Garcia but didn’t really know his story or his stuff terribly well, so I did some reading and looked at some stats. The numbers almost looked like typos. They were that good.

In 45 games between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse this season, he posted an 0.86 ERA in 52.1 innings. He struck out an incredible 11.4 batters per nine innings with an 0.917 WHIP. Garcia had shown promise when he was a Yankees farmhand, but two Tommy John surgeries fueled his release. The Nats, as they often do with pitchers, picked him up as a reclamation project. That’s gone pretty well.

It’s certainly a small sample size for Garcia’s MLB experience, but it's been impressive nonetheless. He has thrown six innings in seven games since being called up with expanded rosters in early September. He’s walked just two batters, struck out seven, and allowed just four hits. The stats tell one story, and the stuff tells a similar one.

Garcia has a live arm with a fastball velocity that averages over 95 mph, and it’s a pitch that moves. He also has a devastating change up that averages about 9 mph slower than his fastball. It dives down and away from lefties, similar to that of Stephen Strasburg’s, which is a lofty comparison. But boy... if you haven’t seen his curveball yet... It dives out of the zone before you know what happened.  Here’s a GIF of his curve against Daniel Murphy, gotten from FanGraphs.

All that said, does he have a chance to make the postseason roster after only being called up on September 3 for the first time in his professional career? Not only is there a chance, it’s likely. The Nats will likely go with a four-man rotation for the playoffs, as most teams do because of the extra rest you get in a postseason schedule. This will open up another roster spot that the Nats could use to solidify the back end of their bullpen.

Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen have done a nice job locking down the back end, but Garcia can give you a big strikeout (as his 11.4 K/9 shows) in a pinch and pitch in a seventh inning hold situation, especially with Sean Burnett’s recent struggles following his elbow inflammation. When I put together my postseason roster predictions later this season, you better believe that Garcia’s name will be on it.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Steve Nash: Curry's shooting 'greatest there's ever been'

Chicago Bulls agree to deal with Fred Hoiberg

Russell Westbrook wins Spirit award, pokes fun at himself

Mark May removed from ESPN's ‘College Football Final’

Mark Sanchez backs off dismissal of Tim Tebow

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

SEC to block transfers with domestic violence, sexual assault history

LeBron James playing through sprained wrist

Justin Hunter on Mariota: He's a real good quarterback

Louis Murphy: Jameis Winston reminds me of Tim Tebow

Zuccarello lost ability to speak after taking puck to head

UAB reportedly reinstating football program

Shaq: I'd take Kobe over LeBron because of 'killer instinct'

NBA should have 'legacy contracts' for long-time players

Atlanta Hawks unveil new logo

WATCH: UAB fans celebrate football reinstatement

Video/audio from aftermath of Jon Jones’ car crash released

Josh Hamilton comeback could be best MLB story of 2015

Lil Wayne goes after ref during anti-violence charity game

UConn created trophy for 'rivalry' series with UCF

Giancarlo Stanton eats a Kit Kat like a savage

Rob Gronkowski to critics: What have I done besides dance?

Bruce Jenner reveals new Caitlyn Jenner identity

WATCH: 'Basketball Wives' star shuts down Jameis Winston

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Chicago Bulls agree to deal with Fred Hoiberg

NBA should have 'legacy contracts' for long-time players

Atlanta Hawks unveil new logo

UAB fans celebrate football reinstatement

Sanchez backs off dismissal of Tebow

Gronk responds to critics of his antics

Bruce Jenner reveals new identity

Report: UAB bringing back football

Sepp Blatter, evil genius

Projecting the NFL's six best defenses

Top five storylines for the 2015 NBA Finals

Fred Hoiberg once mocked Noah

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.