CHICAGO -- Avisail Garcia said he's humbled and hungry after sustaining the first major injury in his baseball career, a torn labrum and avulsion fracture in his left shoulder suffered when diving for a fly ball in Colorado on April 9.
The versatile outfielder said he poured emotional will into his recovery as much as much as physicality -- evident in his far-ahead-of-schedule return Saturday against the Blue Jays.
"He appreciates the ability to play and, being back off the disabled list, how important it is to him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think that was part of the rehab that he did and all the stuff that he went through. You realize how important it is to you and to not take it for granted at all. It's a message I think everybody sees."
Garcia brings a boost to the middle part of a beleaguered White Sox lineup that has seen 11 players trek to the disabled list this year. He went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI on Saturday in the South Siders' 6-3 loss.
"It was childlike in a lot of ways with just being able to play," Ventura said. "He was hustling all over the place. You can see the talent that he has being big and strong, and hitting balls off the fence. It's unique to be that big and that fast."
Ventura said Garcia complements Jose Abreu as contact cogs in the heart of the order, and that his instincts in the outfield are above caliber.
"The consistency with it will be the big thing," Ventura said. "You're looking at guys -- with his tools he can do a lot of different things in the game. It's not just power. He will develop more power but with his speed, I think that's where his average will also pick up. He can beat stuff out, he can take a ball the other way. He's unique that way with the tool set he has."
Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less