Just Briefly, Jarlin Was A Marlin
MIAMI—Double-A Jacksonville manager Dave Berg had angry words for 23-year-old lefthander Jarlin Garcia.
"Get the (bleep) out of my office,” Berg said. "We don’t want you around.”
Garcia was startled . . . until he saw Berg and the other coaches laughing.
As it turned out, this was Berg’s humorous way of telling Garcia the words he had yearned to hear for so long: he had been called up to the majors.
Brought up as insurance for an overtaxed bullpen, Garcia was not used in his brief four-day stay with the Marlins. But he learned a lot from watching the big leaguers and also pocketed about $10,000, a virtual fortune for his family in the Dominican Republic.
And it’s that family—especially his little sister Genesis Mabel—that motivates Garcia every day.
The Garcias lost Genesis seven years ago when she drowned. She was just 3 years old.
Garcia, who was 16 at the time, feels partly responsible for her death because he was away from home, playing baseball at the time.
"Every time I pitch, she’s always on my mind,” Garcia said.
Garcia, who signed as an international free agent at age 17 in 2010, was a soccer player until two years before he signed.
His friends and a coach convinced him to try baseball, and he was an immediate success. Just 5-foot-7 and 143 pounds at the time, Garcia sprouted by about seven inches within a year or so, and he now stands 6-foot-3 and weights 225 pounds.
Garcia didn’t produce much in his first three years as a professional. In fact, the Marlins left him unprotected in the 2014 Rule 5 draft—but no team selected him.
With a fastball that touches 95 mph, Garcia projects as a possible No. 4 starter, though he spent the month of June on the disabled list.
"He has power stuff,” Berg said. "He just needs to work on the consistency of his breaking pitches.”
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