Coming off three straight injury-plagued seasons, Jaime Garcia surpassed 170 innings for just the second time in his career. Unfortunately, the results were less than stellar as he stumbled out of the gate and had a 4.01 ERA heading into the All-Star break. Matters only got worse as he pitched to a 5.60 ERA over 15 games in the second half. His walk rate shot up -- to 7.7 percent from from 2015's respectable mark of 5.9 percent -- as did his HR/9 rate. In fact, his HR/9 more than tripled from the previous season. Due to his propensity for allowing baserunners and the long ball, Garcia failed to be a viable starter. He forced St. Louis to turn to their bullpen early when he'd take the mound, averaging only 5.4 innings per start. Although he struggled throughout 2016, he should be assured of a rotation spot for the Braves following a December trade. Garcia's headed into the final and most expensive year of his contract.
Garcia allowed two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six batters over six innings during Saturday's loss to Philadelphia. Garcia has been sharper with each outing and has chipped his ERA down to 4.24. The uptick in strikeouts was also encouraging, as the southpaw entered Saturday's outing with just eight punchouts over 17.1 innings. The veteran is unlikely to receive the run support needed to pile up many wins, and his career 7.2 K/9 and 19.1 strikeout percentage aren't standout marks. Still chasing his first victory of the season, Garcia projects to face the Brewers next weekend.
Garcia didn't factor into the decision Monday against the Padres despite allowing just two runs on five hits and three walks across 6.1 innings. He struck out four. Garcia allowed a run on three straight hits to start the game, but he settled down and cruised into the seventh before a solo homer with one out ended his night. The veteran tied his season high in strikeouts and made it into the seventh inning for the first time in three starts, needing just 87 pitches to do so. With this quality outing, he's lowered his ERA to 4.67 after an inauspicious start, and he'll look to continue his improved performance Saturday against the Phillies.
Garcia (0-1) allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out four over five innings Wednesday, but was able to escape with a no-decision in a 5-4 win over the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton took Garcia deep twice, but the left-hander got enough offensive support to avoid his second loss of the season. The Braves are counting on him to provide some stability to their rotation, but so far he isn't holding up his end of the bargain. Garcia will look for a better result Monday at home against the Padres.
Garcia gave up one run on five hits and a walk while striking out four over 5.2 innings during Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. A Nick Castellanos solo home run in the fourth inning was the only blemish on the lefty's outing. Garcia now has a strong 2.63 ERA through 13.2 spring innings, but his 9:6 K:BB likely offers a better reflection of his fantasy upside in 2017.
Garcia allowed two walks and struck out one in three no-hit, shutout innings during Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees. The Braves are keeping his workload fairly low for now -- pitchers typically go longer than three innings in their third spring starts -- but Garcia seems well on pace to be ready for Opening Day. If the 30-year-old lefty can stay healthy in 2017, he could provide a solid, if low-upside, return on a minimal fantasy investment.
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