Luis Garcia unveiled a new delivery on Tuesday
As part of the rule changes sweeping through the MLB, Astros starter Luis Garcia was forced to change his windup for the 2023 season. Garcia's rock the baby delivery was disallowed under the re-emphasized balk rules.
Garcia also faced questions regarding the pitch clock timer. No Astros starter worked more slowly than Garcia. According to Baseball Savant, Garcia averaged 21.2 seconds between pitches with the bases empty and 27.1 seconds between pitches when runners were on base. Under the new rules, Garcia must begin his delivery within 15 seconds of receiving the baseball if the basepaths are empty and 20 seconds if runners are on base.
Today was the first time Garcia would debut his new windup, as shown by this tweet from Pitching Ninja.
Though just a couple of innings in Spring Training, Garcia showcased he should have no issues adjusting to the new tempo. He stared down a New York Mets' lineup filled with each everyday player not named Brandon Nimmo and was dynamite.
Garcia threw two innings in only 30 pitches. Of his 30 pitches, 21 went for strikes. He allowed one single to Francisco Lindor, but struck out four of the six batters he faced, getting Tommy Pham, Pete Alonso, Daniel Vogelbach and Mark Canha swinging.
Garcia shared a funny anecdote postgame. In the at-bat in which he struck out Canha, Garcia noticed the pitch clock was running down. He had intended to throw a cutter, his best pitch, but reared back and threw a four-seam fastball instead. He blew it right past Canha.
As Chandler Rome said, Garcia is a treasure indeed. He brings plenty of personality, but his performance on the field is tantamount to the Astros success. In his first test answering questions about his ability to adapt, Luis Garcia passed with flying colors.