Garcia was called up from Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday.
Garcia was likely going to rejoin the big-league team this weekend when rosters expand to 40 players, but Jedd Gyorko's placement on the DL due to a groin injury has brought the outfielder back up a few days earlier. During five games with the Cardinals earlier this month, Garcia went 1-for-11 with a single and five strikeouts in his first cup of coffee in the majors. He will be utilized as a reserve outfielder and isn't expected to see much playing time with the Redbirds fighting for a spot in the postseason.
Garcia was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday.
Garcia spent eight days on the roster filling in for the injured Tyler O'Neill (groin). He went 1-for-11 in his time with the club. With O'Neill returning from the disabled list, Garcia will head back to the minors. Now that he's on the 40-man roster, he'll have the chance to return in September, or sooner should another Cardinals outfielder get injured.
The promotion comes on the back of an excellent last 30 games for the 25-year-old outfielder, who hit .348/.370/.765 with 12 homers over that stretch. Those numbers are far better than the mediocre .269/.296/.531 overall line he's posted for Triple-A Memphis this season. Garcia, who came over from Cuba in 2016, has a strong arm and good gap power made better by plus speed, but his bat doesn't project to be particularly special and his profile is held back by a lack of plate discipline and poor instincts on the basepaths. Injuries to Dexter Fowler (foot) and Tyler O'Neill (groin), who was placed on the 10-day disabled list in a corresponding move, open up the possibility for regular at-bats for Garcia in the short term.
Garcia is slashing .353/.375/.765 with 16 extra-base hits (six doubles, one triple, nine home runs) and 21 RBI over 88 plate appearances at Triple-A Memphis in July,
Garcia has matched his combined homer total for the first three months of the season with his July explosion, and he's been especially hot over the last seven games -- the promising 25-year-old is 15-for-32 with six round trippers, 12 RBI, one walk and 11 runs over that stretch. The sample includes a memorable three-homer, eight-RBI day last Thursday in a 12-3 win over Salt Lake, as well as five multi-hit efforts overall. The surge has already boosted Garcia's season average 14 points to .263, while his slugging percentage currently sits at an impressive .509. Garcia certainly looks to be approaching big-league readiness in many aspects of his game, but plate discipline and patience (22.0 percent strikeout rate, 3.8 percent walk rate) are areas that could still use some improvement.
Garcia is slashing just .205/.253/.361 with 15 extra-base hits (nine doubles, one triple, five home runs) and 18 RBI over 179 plate appearances with Triple-A Memphis.
A year ago, Garcia was a briskly rising star in the Cardinals organization, thriving with the Redbirds in his first exposure to Triple-A pitching. The then-25-year-old had slashed an impressive .301/.342/.478 over 40 games after a promotion from Double-A Springfield, where he'd compiled 35 extra-base hits (23 doubles, 12 homers) across 342 plate appearances. However, the new season has brought Garcia his first taste of professional adversity stateside, with a couple of factors playing a prominent role in his current demise. Not only is Garcia undoubtedly being held back in part by a .252 BABIP, but he's also seen a bump in strikeout rate from 21.1 percent to a career-high 26.3 percent thus far in 2018.
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