After splitting 2018 between the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs, 32-year-old left-hander Jaime Garcia is calling it quits in professional baseball.
Jaime Garcia’s time with the Chicago Cubs was brief, disappointing and ultimately failed to yield positive results for either the southpaw or the organization. That being said, he still played a role on the 2018 club – so we’ll look back at his once-promising career that has abruptly drawn to a close.
Garcia, 32, took the ball eight times for Chicago after he signed with the club on the last day of August following his release by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was hardly what you’d call effective, pitching to a 4.70 ERA, but slightly more palatable 4.47 FIP across just 7 2/3 innings.
Control issues plagued the lefty in his limited run with the Cubs, as he walked six and struck out just one. He made a lone spot start for Chicago, coming on Sept. 8 in Washington. He lasted for just one-third of an inning, allowing three earned runs, one hit and three walks. From there on out, he allowed just one run as a member of the Cubs bullpen – lending credence to the belief the veteran might have something more in the tank.
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But instead, he’s hanging up his spikes. The Reynosa, Mexico native was once one of the more promising arms in the game, even winning a World Series ring in 2011 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
That year, he made 32 starts for the Redbirds, racking up 194 2/3 regular season frames – a mark he would never again eclipse. His 3.23 FIP further evidences the quality of the work he turned in for St. Louis – and that carried over into October.
After struggling in the NLCS, Garcia bounced back in a big way, making a pair of starts in the Fall Classic against the Rangers and allowing just a pair of runs in 10 innings of work. From there, he continued to be a valuable big league piece in the Cardinals rotation.
From 2012 to 2015, Garcia racked up 350 1/3 innings of work for St. Louis and continued to put up respectable numbers. In 56 starts, he struck out 277 and walked just 82 while pitching to a 1.199 WHIP and 3.34 ERA.
St. Louis traded the lefty to the Atlanta Braves in Dec. 2016. The contrast between his work early in his career and the later years is pretty stark. Things went south in a hurry for Garcia. Over the final three years, he limped to just a 4.80 ERA, 4.53 FIP and 1.420 WHIP in 92 games, including 71 starts.
So, when all is said and done, everyone will remember Garcia for his role with the Cardinals early in his career. But you always hate to see a guy flame out because of injuries at such a young age. Here’s to wishing him and his family all the best in his post-playing days.