Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

'Big Game' is back ... Garcia starting Tuesday

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t1_garcia-753386.jpgOAKLAND, Calif. - Ozzie Guillen didn't need to read the four-word text from pitcher Freddy Garcia Saturday morning to know that the right-hander nicknamed "Big Game'' would be ready to make his 2009 major-league debut come Tuesday.
But it didn't hurt.
"He just sent me a text message, 'Bro, ready to roll.' And I like that,'' Guillen said. "Me and Freddy are tight. I don't think Freddy is going to lie to himself or lie or to me. He knows our situation here. He knows everyone loves him. He knows he's got a lot of feelings for this ballclub. And I think if Freddy is going to come out and pitch well for anybody, it's with us. We know him very well here.
"But he knows he's ready for the competition and knows he pitched well here and he listened to me and to us that he'll be fine. The last couple years he went through a couple [things]. He went the wrong way, that's why he got hurt. He didn't take care of himself well, I'm pretty honest. I think Freddy is going to come out and pitch well.''
Frankly, the Sox need him to.
It was first reported in the Sun-Times on Thursday that Garcia was shaking hands goodbye with his Charlotte teammates, all but stating the obvious that he was South Side bound for the start against the Royals.
Garcia made four minor-league starts in the Sox farm system, going 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA. He last pitched in the big leagues on Sept. 29, facing off against the Sox as a member of the Detroit Tigers and getting the no-decision.
"I talked to Freddy,'' Guillen said. "This is not spring training for him. He's got to come here and kick some butt. I think he's ready for the challenge. We all know what Freddy can do. We all know what kind of warrior Freddy is, and we're going to give him the chance.''
How much of a chance after Tuesday will depend on two factors, however: First, how he pitches against the Royals and then how Jose Contreras pitches the following day.
Despite Contreras' struggles - 0-4 with a 7.62 ERA in his last six starts - the Sox are sticking with him for now.
"I don't think we have any other choice, to be honest,'' Guillen said of Contreras. "We don't have any other choice. I know this is get it done, or don't. That's with everyone, you do it or you don't. After the game, if we win 11-10, we're good. We did our job. But if we lose 11-10, we all fail. Right now we're going to stay the same.''
When Jake Peavy is set to return, though, all bets are off. Whoever is pitching better between Contreras and Garcia stays in the rotation. The other? Well, enjoy life in the bullpen.

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My 95-year old father and I are Sox fans to the core. We are both now resigned to the fact that sending Freddy and Jose to the mound next week, back-to-back, likely produces two losses. We ae not cynics, we are just realists. Go Sox!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on August 15, 2009 5:03 PM.

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