Beasley: Syracuse's Christian Garcia is like having Strasburg in the bullpen

The amazing statistic almost defies reality.

One earned run allowed in 19 appearances.

In a span of 23 1/3 innings, the right-hander has allowed one earned run.

He has not allowed a run since June.

While in the Yankees organization, he underwent Tommy John surgery...twice - in 2006 and in 2010.

And he can throw his fastball consistently from 95-97 mph.

Right-hander Christian Garcia has been tearing up the International League. The 27 year old has been through a lot, but now with Triple-A Syracuse, it looks like he has figured it out.

Syracuse manager Tony Beasley says Garcia realizes now that his fastball is very, very good.

"He really uses his fastball a lot now," Beasley said. "I think early on he was still in the mode of using his whole repertoire right off the bat. There is no need for that when you are throwing 95-97 mph with life. His secondary pitches are outstanding as well, but he has been a starter, he has that frame of mind. The last two weeks he has gotten to (a) frame of mind that he needs to pound that fastball."

That was difficult for Garcia to learn early on, because as a starter you need to spread out your stuff for the long haul - usually six, seven or eight innings.

But as a reliever, he did not need to set up hitters because they would not get third and fourth looks at him. He needed to bring his lethal fastball from the start. And that is what he is doing now in the Nationals organization.

"If the fastball is your best pitch, understand that, and make sure that that is your bread and butter, and make sure you can do what you want to do with that pitch," Beasley explained. "Numerous people have talked to him on that issue and I think finally it has clicked in his mind and he has put it into play."

Two of the top reasons Garcia's fastball is so hard to hit is its nasty movement and the fact that it is coming at you on a different plane, from a 6-foot-5, 215-pound pitcher.

"It is not straight," Beasley said. "He is a tall guy with a lot of leverage. He angles that ball downhill and it has movement. The swings haven't been good against him at this level, I can tell you that, even when it is a fastball count and they know a fastball is coming. I am sure hitters are cheating to get to it and swings are still not good. I don't know if I have seen any ball centered off of him yet."

The bottom line for Beasley is Garcia has the stuff that can get guys out right now in the majors. And that is a big card available for a Triple-A skipper to use late in games.

"He is almost like having Stephen Strasburg in for the eighth or ninth inning," Beasley said. "That is a great option to have."

Garcia is 1-0 with a 0.39 ERA in 19 outings for the Chiefs. He has allowed three hits and no runs in his last 10 outings, a span of 12 1/3 innings.

"He has a special arm," Beasley said. "He has three plus pitches. I was talking the other day with pitching coach Greg Booker and told him (Garcia) is a nice commodity to have because he has a big league arm. He is really starting to locate his fastball and command that fastball, command it down and using both sides."

Garcia is another logical choice, with his 28th birthday on Aug. 24, to get a September call-up and see how his 97 mph stuff plays out on baseball's biggest stage. He has certainly proven that he knows how to get batters out at Triple-A. Over and over again.

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