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

Pacquiao to have surgery to repair 'significant' shoulder tear

Chris Paul ruled out for Game 1 against Rockets

Stephen Curry thanks father in touching MVP speech

Lawrence Taylor's son pleads guilty to statutory rape

49ers FB Bruce Miller charged with vandalism

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview

Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

WATCH: Chris Johnson wants to play for the Cowboys

WATCH: Chewbacca throws out 1st pitch at Red Sox game

WATCH: Kyrie Irving carves up Bulls' defense for layup

WATCH: Metallica goes Jimi Hendrix for national anthem

Brandon McCarthy shares disturbing info about himself

Ole Miss fan got pregnant because of upset over Alabama

Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes middle name to 'Trill'

Marcus Mariota welcomed to Tennessee with billboard

Five takeaways from the first round of the NBA playoffs

NFL has a Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents who could become NFL stars

WATCH: ESPN reporter calls first First Take a 'train wreck'

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

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

NFL has Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents to watch

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

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.