Garcia's activation complicates O's bullpen

Garcia's activation complicates O's bullpen

ANAHEIM -- The Orioles activated Rule 5 Draft pick Jason Garcia from the 60-day disabled list on Friday, as the right-hander's 30-day rehab assignment expired and he needs to accumulate 90 days on Baltimore's 25-man roster in 2015 to lose his Rule 5 status.

The 22-year-old, who had a 5.93 ERA and walked 11 batters in 13 2/3 innings before going on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis in May, could make the Orioles' bullpen management more difficult until rosters expand in September if he continues to struggle.

Those control issues quickly manifested themselves when Garcia pitched the eighth inning of Friday night's 8-4 loss to the Angels. Garcia walked the first man he faced, Kole Calhoun, then missed his target badly on a fastball that ran up-and-in on Mike Trout, eliciting boos from the Angel Stadium crowd. Garcia got through a clean inning, but only five of the 14 pitches he threw were strikes.

"You're taking a guy whose command's been an issue for him, but you could see why we'd like to have him in the system," manager Buck Showalter said. "He got through it against some good hitters; I'm sure he had some anxiety, but it looks like he's healthy now and the arm strength's back."

For a team in the middle of a playoff chase, those three or so weeks in the interim before September callups could be something of a concern. Showalter said Baltimore wouldn't shy away from using Garcia, though.

"He'll pitch. You can't play in the American League without seven pitchers pitching," Showalter said. "He's healthy now, and if there's an adjustment to be made, we'll make it."

Mychal Givens, who was optioned to Double-A Bowie in a corresponding move, hadn't allowed a run in his three appearances spanning four innings.

"Nobody wanted to send Mychal back, but there's some things he can still work on," Showalter said. "There's still some unknown there with Mychal."

Showalter stressed the value of the Rule 5 Draft in acquiring talent, even if it necessitates moves like sending down someone who's played well, like Givens.

"You could say the same thing the last two years about [second baseman Ryan Flaherty and left-hander T.J. McFarland]. And they were contributors," Showalter said. "Maybe a year or two from now we'll be saying the same thing about Jason.

"There's not a better way to acquire players for the investment than the Rule 5 Draft, for us especially. I'm sure most managers wouldn't be sitting here saying that; I am."

David Adler is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.