Garcia making case to return in 2010

Garcia making case to return in 2010

CHICAGO -- Freddy Garcia has made his desire to return to the White Sox next season clear.

"Hopefully it will happen," Garcia said.

At his current rate, Garcia should have no problem giving management reason to bring him back.

Should the White Sox choose to exercise a $1 million option next season for Garcia, they likely would have a solid No. 5 starter nailed down in their rotation, behind Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and John Danks.

Garcia has become arguably the team's most reliable starter over the final month of the season, having thrown six straight quality starts and going 2-2 with a 3.29 ERA during that span. His last outing may have been his best to date, despite suffering a loss against the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field. Garcia allowed just two runs in a season-high eight innings.

Garcia will aim for his seventh straight quality start on Saturday night against Tigers left-hander Nate Robertson.

Garcia said his recent success has not come as a surprise to him.

"I know how to pitch," Garcia said, "so maybe it surprises a lot of people, because in the beginning of the season I got released from the Mets. Not many people believed I could be here right now. So, I proved them wrong."

Garcia's resurgence comes after 2 1/2 disappointing Major League seasons filled with injury troubles.

He won just two games in 14 starts over two seasons with Philadelphia and Detroit after the White Sox traded him in December 2006, bringing right-hander Floyd to Chicago. Garcia pitched with the White Sox from the middle of 2004 through the 2006 season and threw seven shutout innings in the World Series-clinching Game 4 shutout over Houston in 2005.

But after being dealt to Philadelphia, he underwent shoulder surgery and did not pitch like the Garcia who became a staple in the rotation for Chicago.

Still, the White Sox showed interest in Garcia following the 2008 season, but Garcia instead opted to sign with the Mets.

He did not make it out of Spring Training, unable to establish the velocity that made him a stalwart on Chicago's pitching staff just a few years earlier. He was forced to take more time to heal his injuries before the White Sox signed him midway through this season.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen blamed some of Garcia's struggles this year on the unwillingness of Garcia to sign with Chicago in 2008.

"We wanted Freddy last year, and he tried to get greedy and win with somebody else," Guillen said. "Freddy should've been with us in June and July, the way I told him to do. Because we know Freddy. The other organizations, they don't know him. We know what he can do. Freddy, he works hard. He earned a spot. But next year? We're still talking about it. I think the way he pitched, he should be back with the ballclub."

At this stage of his career, however, Garcia is just glad to have put himself in position to make it out of Spring Training next season.

"You always wonder because you don't know how you're going to get back 100 percent," Garcia said. "It's hard. You never know if you're going to make it. So, I'm glad I did it."

Pitching matchup
CWS: RHP Freddy Garcia (2-3, 4.01 ERA)
Garcia held the Royals to two runs on five hits over eight innings on Sunday. Garcia also struck out three and walked one, needing just 94 pitches. Unfortunately for Garcia, the offense could not support him during a 2-1 setback, his seventh straight loss to Kansas City. Garcia, who pitched for the Tigers last year, has a 15-5 career record against Detroit with a 3.63 ERA.

DET: LHP Nate Robertson (2-2, 5.13 ERA)
The odd man out of the Tigers' rotation at the end of Spring Training is a starter again just in time to provide Detroit with a left-handed boost. While his five innings with two runs allowed Sunday at Minnesota don't sound like a major accomplishment, the outing met the challenge of holding down the Twins offense long enough for the Tigers to pull ahead and salvage a game in a key series. His slider is back to resembling its old bite, and his control has rounded back into shape.

The White Sox tallied just two hits but still picked up a victory on Friday night against the Tigers. It was the first time Chicago recorded only two hits in a win since April 28 against Seattle. ... Guillen was ejected in the ninth inning for the 19th time in his career and the third time this season. He last was ejected on June 23 against the Dodgers. ... Matt Thornton picked up his second save this season and the seventh save of his career. ... Gordon Beckham recorded his American League rookie-leading 58th RBI of the season when he connected on a two-run home run in the sixth inning. It was Beckham's 14th home run this season, good for second among AL rookies.

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Up next
• Sunday: White Sox (Daniel Hudson, 0-1, 3.38) vs. Tigers (Edwin Jackson, 13-7, 3.25), 1:05 p.m. CT
• Monday: White Sox (John Danks, 12-10, 3.82) at Indians (Aaron Laffey, 7-7, 3.93), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: White Sox (Mark Buehrle, 12-10, 3.95) at Indians (Justin Masterson, 4-9, 4.79), 6:05 p.m. CT

Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.