Garcia is coming off a breakout season with the Phillies High-A ball affiliate in Clearwater
Phillies 16th-ranked prospect Elniery Garcia has been reinstated from the restricted list following an 80-game suspension. Garcia tested positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid that is commonly used to treat horses and sometimes used by athletes for competitive advantage.
In order to protect Garcia from the Rule 5 Draft, the Phils added the lefty to their 40-man roster over the offseason. Garcia returns to the 40-man roster after the club placed reliever Casey Fien on the 60-day disabled list.
Philadelphia acquired the 33-year-old from the Seattle Mariners in May for cash considerations. After a brief stint with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Fien pitched six innings for Philly, allowing seven runs off 14 hits.
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Fien’s season is likely over after suffering a strained right rotator cuff last month.
Having Garcia back in the organization is a major advantage for the Phillies, who will likely start him in the Gulf Coast League or with the Williamsport Crosscutters to start the year. Garcia’s has pitched as high as Double-A Reading, but will need time to reacclimate himself with a routine and pitching in-game.
Garcia has worked primarily as a starter in his professional career since signing with Philadelphia out of the Dominican Republic. While with Clearwater last year, Garcia went 12-4 with an impressive 2.68 ERA.
On the baseball scouting scale ranging from 20-80 Garcia’s fastball is graded at a 60, which is above average for his level. He’s also developing a slider, curveball, and change-up that are average major league pitches.
If all goes well for Garcia following his reinstatement a move to as high as Lehigh Valley is possible. If September call-ups warrant a young arm in the majors, Garcia could get attention from the front office executives.