Garcia Not Ready, Accepts Assignment To Buffalo

Joe NoaCorrespondent IMarch 25, 2009

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 29:  Starting pitcher Freddy Garcia #34 of the Detroit Tigers walks to the dugout after he was taken out of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on September 29, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox won 8-2.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Mets announced that Freddy Garcia has been reassigned to AAA Buffalo. The fifth slot winner goes to Livan Hernandez.

Garcia was rocked throughout Spring Training. He did not have good command of his pitches. His movement was flat.

On the bright side, Garcia will have a chance to go to the minors and continue to build his arm strength and command.

After suffering a torn labrum in 2007, Garcia has been rushing to get back to doing what he does best, pitching lights-out baseball.

Freddy Garcia is a six-time double digit winner and had his best year at the age of 24 when he had an 18-6 record for the Seattle Mariners.

His drawback has been he has not had a year when his ERA was below 4.00.

He had the option to turn down the demotion and pitch somewhere else.

He made a wise decision accepting the assignment. He knows he is not ready and he still has a chance to be teammates with his close friend, Johan Santana.

The Mets may offer Garcia the best chance to win a ring this season. It's late in Spring Training and most teams favored to be in the postseason have their pitching set.

This is a long season. There will be pitchers that will get injured or tired. Livan Hernandez will be the fifth starter for now. Redding is hurt and Pedro is not in the radar.

If Garcia can get his arm strength back and can bring the pitcher he was before the injury, I see him being called up for as soon as he is needed.

He is a proven winner and good clubhouse presence. For the Mets, you can not have too much pitching.

Top of my head: Jeremy Reed belongs on the opening day roster. He has been tearing the cover off the ball and he would be starting anywhere else. Brian Schneider caught for Johan Santana back at Port St Lucie while the Mets were sent into orbit by the Astros in Kissemmee losing 8-0. He proclaims his knee is fine and is ready to go.

Omar Minaya chose not to pursue Ivan Rodriguez because he could not unload Ramon Castro. Both catchers are in their last years of their contracts. But the Mets have two promising catchers in Rene Rivera and Omir Santos. Santos hit a monster home run off the Braves that was a one-hopper into the practice field past left field. These two impressed Omar and Manuel so much that Robinson Cancel was sent back to the minors.