03/31/10 8:14 PM ET
Concern over Garcia growing
Right-hander feels good, despite rough outing
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Garcia was hit around for the second straight Cactus League start on Wednesday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark, with the Indians putting up 10 runs on 12 hits in 3 2/3 innings against the right-hander. In the second inning alone, Cleveland scored eight runs on eight hits.
Factoring in his start last Friday against the D-backs at Tucson Electric Park, Garcia has yielded 17 runs on 23 hits in 8 2/3 innings. It's of little wonder Garcia's ERA jumped from 1.13 on March 17 to 10.38 at the end of Cactus League action.
"I can't wait to get out of here, man," said Garcia, drawing a laugh from outfielder Alex Rios, who was standing next to him in the visitors' clubhouse. "You want to pitch good in Spring Training, and I'm taking it serious.
"But if that doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. Where it matters is during the season. If you pitch like this during the season, that's when you start to think about it and you are in trouble."
Four or five regular-season starts like these past two from the White Sox fifth starter could mean a call to Daniel Hudson at Triple-A Charlotte. Garcia no longer is a hard-throwing, blow-the-fastball-by-you sort of pitcher, relying more on location and movement.
Wednesday's ability to keep the ball down was an issue for Garcia, as was finishing off hitters. Garcia has been known to pitch better against playoff-contending sort of teams, as his 16-6 career record against Detroit and 14-3 mark against the Angels would indicate, while struggling to get up for second-tier teams such as the Royals (8-13) or the Orioles (4-7).
Getting the proper work in and preparing for the regular season stand as Garcia's primary Spring Training motivation, not the results, but he will work on making adjustments during two or three bullpens he throws before he makes his first 2010 start against the Twins on April 10. And for those who have doubts caused by these pair of disastrous outings, Garcia asks for a regular-season reprieve before passing judgment.
"There's nothing you can do about it," Garcia said. "There are always people who are going to talk about you if you don't perform the way you want.
"My last two times have been rough, but I can't wait until the season starts. It's a shame the way I've been pitching, but it's different when the season starts, when the bell rings. You have more focus, more concentration on what you do.
"For me, the biggest thing is feeling good every time I go out there," Garcia said. "I didn't pitch the way I wanted, but today I was feeling great."
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- According to a Baseball America survey, White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn rates as Major League Baseball's top general manager candidate among executives who have never been a general manager previously. This list was based on conversations with current general managers, other front-office officials, agents and baseball writers, according to the publication.
"That recognition is nice, absolutely," Hahn said. "But let's be frank. It's not like being named that the organization has the No. 1 position player or pitching prospect in the game. I'd probably trade myself for Jayson Heyward or Steven Strasburg in a minute, and I'm guessing [White Sox general manager] Kenny [Williams] would probably drive me to the airport if that was on the table."
Becoming a general manager certainly stands out as something Hahn would like to accomplish in his career, as he begins his 10th season with the team. His present focus, though, falls upon the 2010 White Sox.
"Right now, the furthest thing from anyone's mind is what job is next or what openings may be there after the season," Hahn said. "It's 100 percent focused on being excited about this year and feeling good about the work we put in during this past offseason and see it play out for real in games that matter.
"It's something I certainly hope one day is in the cards. Until that time is right, I measure opportunities against a place where I'm comfortable and happy."
Santos ready for anything
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Tuesday night celebration for Sergio Santos and his family after officially being added to the White Sox bullpen certainly didn't affect his effort on Wednesday.
Santos entered Cleveland's 10-1 victory with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning but escaped further damage by inducing Anderson Hernandez's fielder's choice grounder to shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Santos struck out the side in the fifth, including Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo.
Pitching will continue to be Santos' responsibility once he gets to Chicago. But the converted infielder is prepared to swing the bat in a pinch.
"I've been trying to tell them that in Interleague Play or anything, if they need a pinch-hitter or an extra infielder, I'm their guy," Santos said.
Third to first
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The White Sox enter Thursday afternoon's Cactus League finale with a 9-16-5 record, marking the fewest spring wins for the team since they won 10 in both 2006 and 2007. Their 1972 finish of 9-15 marks the last time the White Sox had less than 10 victories. They've had six straight losing seasons in Arizona, and manager Ozzie Guillen has an 85-127-13 Cactus League mark during his tenure ... Randy Williams (12 2/3 innings) and Greg Aquino combined to throw 25 scoreless innings this spring. Williams fanned seven and didn't issue a walk, while Aquino allowed just four hits ... Veteran hurler Scott Elarton starts Thursday, with the White Sox Double-A players taking on Seattle and the Major League roster in Charlotte for an exhibition against the Knights.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.