I had the opportunity to speak with Onelki Garcia before his Nov. 8 Arizona Fall League game, a conversation that was translated by Rodney Linares, manager of the Mesa Solar Sox and a manager in the Houston Astros system.
Edited for sanity, because nobody wants to read “uh” and “um” and laughs and transitions and crap.
After all the hardships he’s gone through to get to where he is now, has it affected the way he looks at or plays baseball?
“He said he feels really good even though he’s been through a lot, and that he’s happy and he’s a little impressed with the amount of talent of the players he’s playing with right now, but he’s learning and getting a lot of experience and he says he’s thankful for the opportunity.”
After the extended layoff and his oblique injury, does he have any concerns about durability or rust going into the 2013 season?
“He says that after he had the oblique he had a little bit of a bicep issue, but that he doesn’t envision that it’ll be anything that hampers him for next year. He’s been here in Arizona with the Dodgers and he’s been here working out. He says he still feels it a bit after pitching but he doesn’t envision it being a big problem for next year. He’s ready and happy to be here.”
He still feels the bicep or the oblique?
“Yeah, the bicep, he says he still feels it after he pitches, a little bit, but not before he pitches.”
Can he describe what pitches he throws?
“He says he has a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, sinker, a curve, which he uses a lot, and his change-up is developing. He says he doesn’t use it a lot but it’s coming along.”
Short but informative, as I previously had no idea that he threw all those pitches. Perhaps most importantly though, people were unable to confirm previously why he wasn’t throwing in the AFL, but it turns out that he had both an oblique and bicep injury.
Overall, he seems like a good guy and is just genuinely excited to get back on the field. Also, Rodney Linares is awesome.