Chicago Cubs: Thrilling debut for Robel Garcia, but temper expectations

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The call-up should have come sooner, but the Chicago Cubs finally brought up Robel Garcia. In his first appearance, he did not disappoint. But as we’ve learned, we need to temper expectations for the new guys.

The Chicago Cubs have had a need at second base for quite a while. The rotation of Addison Russell, Daniel Descalso and David Bote wasn’t cutting it. Quite frankly, this move should have happened sooner. Robel Garcia has been lighting up minor league pitching since returning to the states. After failing to get above A-ball with the Indians, he left the organization in 2013 and went to play for Team Italy. This is not the same player that was in the Cleveland organization.

We’ve told the story of Garcia before, and we’ve had our eye on him for the last couple of months. Was it only because of the second base conundrum? Probably. But Theo Epstein is looking to make some changes.

This was one of the first, and he’s gotten immediate benefit from the move. But after Adbert Alzolay, we need to temper expectations with Garcia. But he does offer some hope that the Cubs can solve the second base issue with an in-house solution, and go after other concerns via trade.

After two solid appearances for Alzolay, allowing just two runs in 8 2/3 innings, he allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Pirates. He’s been sent back down, but that was the plan as he can get a start in Triple-A, and maybe play in the Futures Game which he was selected for. He started fast, then fizzled. But Garcia isn’t a ‘kid.’ Well, he is to me, but not by baseball standards.

Garcia is 26 now, and his time playing for Team Italy has treated him well. He’s returned a different player. In five years in the Indians system, he hit a total of 15 home runs, all in Rookie or A ball. In 72 games between Double and Triple-A, he’s hit 21.

He hit his first career home run in his first game to add to a triple and single. The ball may be leaving the yard more often, but Garcia made the changes in his time playing for Italy to have the opportunity.

Garcia is a bit of a ‘comeback’ story, although he never really left baseball. But a comeback for him would bode well for the Cubs in the second half, as they desperately need production from second base. Bote has done well, but Joe Maddon likes him at third, too.

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Epstein talked about changes. If Garcia continues to play well, there will be no reason to carry what amounts to four players that can play second. This will indeed lead to a change. Garcia might be the best thing to happen to the Chicago Cubs, as Epstein and Jed Hoyer might have their hands forced to make a change.