Garcia, 28 in April, joins just his second organization, as he’s spent his entire career with the Tigers up until this point. He got solid results in the shortened 2020 season, posting a 1.66 ERA over 26 relief appearances. However, his fortunes completely flipped the next year, with his ERA shooting up to 7.55 over 39 games in 2021.
2022 was a strange season for Garcia, as he started working in longer stints after previously working primarily as a single-inning reliever. In Triple-A, he made 11 starts and 28 relief appearances, logging 85 1/3 innings in that time with a 3.80 ERA. He also made four starts in the majors with a 3.54 ERA. He might have been quite fortunate to keep earned runs off the board in both cases. He struck out 19.4% of hitters in the minors and 20.2% in the majors, while walking opponents at a 9.6% clip in Triple-A and 11.9% rate in the bigs. His batting average on balls in play was .276 in the minors and .216 in the majors, while his strand rate was 78.9% in Triple-A and 83.3% in the show, with all of those numbers being on the fortunate side of average. That’s borne out by his 4.83 FIP with the Mud Hens and 5.28 mark with the Tigers.
It’s unclear if the Astros view him as a starter or a reliever, though he’ll serve as pitching depth either way. He’ll be competing with other experienced hurlers that will be in camp as non-roster invitees, such as Austin Davis and Ty Buttrey.