Granted it is early in the season but something jumped out at me when I checked the Lexington stat sheet today. After 4 appearances (11 1/3 IP) Gabriel Garcia has a 0.79 ERA and 15 strike outs. Meanwhile he has only given up 5 hits, 2 walks and 1 run.
That is an impressive start for a guy who missed most of the 2010 season serving a 50 game suspension for testing positive for an anabolic steroid. When he did pitch in 2010 for Greeneville, it was an improvement over how he had pitched in 2009. In 2009, his first season in the states, he struck out 32 batters in 38 2/3 IP. Not bad, but he surrendered 69 hits and ended with an ERA of 7.91 in 10 starts. In 2010, he arrived in time to be a part of 6 games and 16.1 IP. During that time he fanned 17 but gave up 19 hits. His ERA in 2010 down to 3.86.
The opponents batting average against him has plummeted from .401 in 09, to .284 in 10 to a low .128 so far this year. His ground out to fly out ratios haven't changed much so you would assume he is simply missing more bats. That would indicate improvement in existing pitches or a new pitch he has developed. This is a pitcher I will be keeping an eye on to see if the improvements continue.