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Nationals Shut Down Christian Garcia

Washington has shut down relief prospect Christian Garcia as the result of pain caused by a strain in his forearm.

Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

The Nationals are shutting down reliever Christian Garcia due to a strain in his right wrist/forearm area, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. According to Kilgore, the reliever hopes to be throwing again in five days, but manager Davey Johnson says he could miss up to two weeks.

There does not appear to be any structural damage to the area, but Garcia is evidently experiencing more pain than he can tolerate at this point and that has prompted the shut down.

The 27 year old righty flashed some impressive stuff during his September call up with Washington last season. In 12 ⅔ innings, he posted a 2.13 ERA while striking out fifteen and walking just two batters.

He impressed Johnson enough that he was included on the team’s post season roster despite his lack of major league experience. He pitched just over two innings against the Cardinals in the National League Division series, allowing one run on two hits and four walks while striking out four.

Baseball America currently ranks him as the Nationals sixth best prospect. He features a mid-nineties fastball, a big sweeping curve and a change, all of which can be extremely effective for him when he can command them.

After struggling to stay healthy as a starter in the Yankees organization, Garcia has flourished with the Nationals as a reliever. He returned from his second Tommy John surgery in 2011 with his velocity and stuff in tact, dominating AA and AAA last year before his call up.

Despite his injury history and his success as a reliever, the Nationals are hoping to convert him back to starting, beginning with extended work this spring. Davey Johnson as even gone so far as to compare Garcia's stuff to staff ace Stephen Strasburg. This injury is not expected to derail that process, Kilgore says.

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