Pittsburgh Pirates: Jarlín García Pulled From WBC, Set For MRI
After leaving Saturday's Grapefruit League outing with forearm discomfort, Jarlín García's status for Opening Day could be in doubt
Entering spring training there appeared to be little that was known about the potential Opening Day bullpen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. One thing that did appear to be known, however, was that this group would include free agent addition Jarlín García.
The 30-year-old lefty signed a one-year deal, with a club option for 2024, with the Pittsburgh Pirates this offseason. García is coming off a season in whcih he pitched to the tune of 3.74 ERA, 4.27 FIP, 6.7% walk rate, and a 20.7% strikeout rate in 65.0 innings pitched with the San Francisco Giants.
It appeared that García would not only be the top lefty out of the Pirate bullpen, but one of Derek Shelton's go to relievers regarldess of headiness. Now, it appears that García may not be ready for Opening Day.
This past Saturday he exited his Grapefruit League outing with what was later diagnosed as left forearm discomfort. Now, the team has announced that he will be pulled from the World Baseball Classic. García will also undergo a MRI.
If García is unable to go for Opening Day it will be interesting to see which route the Pittsburgh Pirates go. Would his projected bullpen spot go to someone such as Yerry De Los Santos or Colin Selby who are in position to get hurt by still having minor league options, or does it go to a vteran non-rsoter invitee left-handed pitcher such as Caleb Smith?
Carrying another lefty in place of García would seem to make the most sense. You always want at least two lefties in your bullpen, and if there's only going to be one you do not want it to be a Rule 5 Draft addition who has zero MLB experience.
Robert Stephenson has yet to appear in a game this spring due to elbow discomfort. So, García could potentially be one of two Pirate relievers ticketed for the injured list to begin the 2023 season. Not a great start for a bullpen that already lacked depth and was filled with quesiton marks.