The picture above is one of the last action-shots we’ve got of Cincinnati Reds prospect Jose Garcia. It’s from the end of February back in Goodyear, Arizona, back when Spring Training was in full swing and his path up the prospect lists was becoming more clear.
Garcia, you’ll remember, hit the snot out of most everything this spring, and while he’d not yet played any minor league ball above Class A+ Daytona, it was clear that he was set to make a big push in the Reds system this year. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic threw all of that out the window, and without Minor League Baseball around in any form, it’s been hard to see if the rise we expected from the extremely talented 22 year old has continued.
Apparently, the Reds brass has seen enough to think so, and according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, it’s enough to warrant a call-up to the bigs and his first start tonight.
Infielder Jose Garcia will be making his 1st start tonight for the Reds. Cuban prospect received $5M bonus in 2017, hasn’t played above high A ball.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 26, 2020
The Reds later added the details to the news, noting that they’d freed up an active roster spot by optioning Travis Jankowski, while freeing up a 40-man roster spot by designating Pedro Strop for assignment.
The #Reds today selected from the alternate training site the contract of IF Jose Garcia and optioned to the alternate site/added to the taxi squad OF Travis Jankowski. RHP Pedro Strop (right groin strain) was reinstated from the 10-day IL and was designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/zALp3DY8WH— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 26, 2020
Exactly what this means for the struggling Reds, I do not know. Garcia is the shortstop of the future in most all of our eyes, but aside from a baserunning gaffe last night, Freddy Galvis has been somewhat cromulent at the position for now. Mike Moustakas is the everyday 2B now that he’s healthy, and Eugenio Suarez is going to continue to get every chance possible to end his slump as the 3B.
As for Strop, well, the lone bullpen addition that came on guaranteed money is now gone, as a groin issue and continued velocity decline rendered him incapable of recapturing the excellent form he had showed through most of his career before 2019. Obviously, there are ample things that need to be fixed in the Cincinnati bullpen, but given the trade deadline looming in just a handful of days, that’s likely going to be where the Reds look. It could, perhaps, even be the eventual fallout of the Garcia promotion, as Galvis could end up on the move elsewhere this week to make full way.
Either way, welcome to the bigs, Jose.