In a piece for Newsday, David Lennon talks about how newly-acquired Mets' pitcher Freddy Garcia has no intent of beginning this upcoming season in the minor leagues, despite joining the team on a minor-league deal.
Rather, Garcia intends to begin the season as the team’s fifth starter in a rotation that already includes Johan Santana, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine.
However, Garcia will face competition for the last remaining spot in the rotation in the form of both Tim Redding and Jon Niese.
When asked about the possibility of not making the big league club, Garcia had the following to say, "If I can pitch, I don't have nothing to prove in the minor leagues."
Garcia also shares a strong bond with Mets' ace Johan Santana, which can only help his chances of being in the starting rotation. The two met in 1995 at a Venezuelan baseball camp and since have been great friends.
Mets' officials also feel that Garcia has the biggest upside at the moment, as just as recently as 2006, he won 17 games. The biggest obstacle that stands in Garcia’s way is his health. Garcia has only made 14 big league starts over the past two years due to a recurring shoulder injury.
Barring any injuries, Garcia would solidify an already-dominant rotation, and would give the Mets a good shot at winning the NL East, which they have not done in over two years.