Who is Jaime Garcia?
Long time Astros fans are very familiar with Garcia. Drafted in the 22nd round of the 2005 MLB Draft, Garcia was a key part of the St. Louis Cardinals starting rotation in the early 2010’s, finishing third in National League Rookie of the Voting in 2010.
In eight seasons with the Cardinals, Garcia had a record of 63-46 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Averaging just over seven strikeouts per nine innings, he thrives inducing ground balls, with 56.1 percent of all balls in play ending up on the ground.
After signing a four-year, $27.5 million dollar contract with club options in the 2016 and 2017 season prior to the 2012 season, the Cardinals traded Garcia to the Braves on December 1st for RHP Chris Ellis, RHP John Gant and 2B Luke Dykstra. With a fastball that averages in the low-nineties, Garcia has been descent in his first five starts in Atlanta. In 29.1 innings pitched he has a 3.99 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP and 17 strikeouts.
After giving up seven earned runs including three home runs in first two outings of the year, Garcia has been pitching very well as of late.
In his last three starts, he has been consistent, pitching at least six innings, giving up only two earned runs on no more than five hits. However, walks have been sort of an issue, walking nine and only striking out 13 in his last 18.1 innings of work.
With the switch to the American League, the Astros have not faced Garcia since 2015. In his last two starts against Houston, he has given up eight earned runs on 15 hits, including four home runs, and striking out only four in 11.1 innings pitched.