Shoulder surgery ends 2007 season for Phillies' Garcia
The two-time All-Star right-hander had season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday, nearly three months after he threw his last pitch for the Phillies.
Renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews performed the operation on Garcia's labrum in Birmingham, Ala. The 31-year-old Garcia will be a free agent after this season, and the Phillies won't bring back perhaps the biggest bust in team history.
Acquired from the Chicago White Sox for two minor leaguers, Garcia was expected to be Philly's ace. Instead, he was 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts.
Garcia had hoped to avoid surgery, so he took time off from throwing and then began a rehab program. He finally decided to have surgery after a second visit with Andrews this week.
Garcia was 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA for 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. Several reports said Garcia's velocity went down during the season, but he was 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.
Rookie Kyle Kendrick came up from Double-A Reading to take Garcia's spot and has been a pleasant surprise for the Phillies. He's 7-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 14 starts.
The Phillies went to spring training with six quality starting pitchers. Only 44-year-old Jamie Moyer hasn't landed on the disabled list.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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