Phillies' Garcia to rest, but may not pitch again this season
PHILADELPHIA -- Freddy Garcia isn't having season-ending surgery just yet.
The two-time All-Star right-hander is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, and it's uncertain whether he'll pitch again for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Garcia was examined by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday for a second opinion after an MRI exam on Monday showed fraying in his rotator cuff and a problem in the labrum.
The 31-year-old Garcia was hoping to avoid surgery. For now, he's going to rest.
"Both the Phillies' medical staff and Dr. Andrews are in complete agreement that a conservative approach should be taken," assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday.
Garcia will be shut down for "several" weeks, before he can begin a tossing program.
"Both doctors agree that there is some damage to the shoulder, but it's more a product of being a starting pitcher who has logged as many innings as Freddy has over the last several seasons," Amaro said.
Garcia was 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA for the Chicago White Sox last season and pitched more than 200 innings for the seventh time in his career. He struggled much of the year, but was outstanding during the final month. Garcia went 4-1 with a 2.49 ERA in his last six starts. He allowed just 15 hits and five runs in 30 innings over his last four outings -- all wins.
From his first appearance with the Phillies in spring training, Garcia clearly wasn't the same pitcher who won at least 16 games four times in his first eight seasons. He opened the year on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis and never showed his old form.
Garcia, who is making $10 million this season in the final year of his contract, is 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts. He allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Royals last Friday and went on the disabled list a day later.
Rookie Kyle Kendrick came up from Double-A and pitched six effective innings in Garcia's spot on Wednesday. The Phillies have overcome a terrible 4-11 start and trail the NL East-leading New York Mets by just two games.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press