WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Right-hander Christian Garcia will continue his rehab assignment this week with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals during their Carolina League Northern Division playoff series against the Lynchburg Hillcats.
Garcia has missed the entire season with a partial tear of a ligament in the wrist and forearm, and later, a pulled hamstring.
He said he will pitch one inning Friday for the P-Nats. If the best-of-three series is completed prior to Friday and the P-Nats advance, Garcia will pitch in the championship round on Saturday.
Garcia tossed one inning and 11 pitches for short-season Single-A Auburn on Tuesday.
"It went well. I threw strikes," Garcia said. "I threw the ball where I wanted to. I used all my pitches effectively. My arm felt great, my hamstring felt great. It was definitely positive."
But to miss almost an entire season has been difficult on Garcia, especially after the way he pitched all the way into October for the Nationals last season.
"It has been a long road, very disappointing and frustrating," Garcia said. "But at the end of the day, these things happen. When I signed up for this job, it comes with a risk, and the risk is injury. Unfortunately, I was on the bad end of it all year. But the main thing is it is now how you start it is how you finish. I am trying to give this one more push. I am not calling it a season yet. Hopefully I can come back and finish off the year in D.C. If not, at least it will put me in a good spot to start 2014 fresh and healthy and strong."
Garcia said he will work these rehab games with various affiliates as long as they are in the playoffs.
After the Nationals' season ends, Garcia could pitch in the instructional league and then winter ball.
"What we are trying to do now is get some innings under me," Garcia said. "You don't want to have a season where you throw 10 rehab innings. You want to try to get as many innings as possible for a good base for next year."
Garcia has been through multiple Tommy John surgeries and now an injury-riddled 2013. He said he has been able to learn how to refine his game while rehabbing this season's list of injuries and has prided himself on improving despite the injury.
"Every time I get hurt, I have a goal to come back better than what I was before I got hurt," he said. "I think that is what helps me bounce back from all the injuries that I have had. I work toward getting better. There is always something in my game that I can get better at."