The Reds optioned Garcia to Triple-A Louisville on Sunday, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports. This isn't a surprise -- Garcia hadn't started any of the last seven games for the Reds and had moved Eugenio Suarez over to shortstop amid much fanfare. Garcia will get more time to develop the bat and is still very much in the Reds' long-term plans.
Garcia spent the offseason bulking up and working on his swing, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. Garcia is expected to begin the season back in the minors after being rushed in 2020, but the Reds didn't improve with a full-time major league offseason, opening the door for him to make the team, even if it's just a small chance. "We just have to be really thoughtful about doing what's best for Jose," manager David Bell said. "Obviously our goal is to win as a team. We'll have to see how it plays out. It wouldn't surprise me if he started in the minor leagues, and it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up being a big part of our major league team this year."
Garcia could begin the 2021 season in the minors, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. Garcia skipped multiple levels last season and hit a paltry .194/.206/.194 in 68 plate appearances. Garcia did receive high marks for his defense and for how he handled his slump, but it's pretty clear that he was overmatched at the plate. He walked just once against 26 strikeouts and didn't have an extra-base hit. Reds GM Nick Krall suggested that the team is hoping to add a shortstop this offseason from outside the organization.
Garcia isn't starting Monday against the Brewers. Garcia will remain out of the lineup for the second consecutive game despite recording seven hits in his last 21 at-bats. Freddy Galvis will take over at shortstop in his place.
Garcia is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the White Sox. The 22-year-old's overall numbers are downright ugly, but Garcia has picked up a little momentum at the plate, recording seven hits in his last 21 at-bats. He will give way to Freddy Galvis at shortstop Sunday.