White Sox manager Robin Ventura wasted no time getting newest outfielder Avisail Garcia in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.
Garcia, 22, who arrived from Class AAA Charlotte after Game 2 began, entered in the 7th inning as a pinch hitter, striking out with two men on base. He stayed in the game in center field and batted again in the 10th–getting hit in the upper left arm by an 0-2 pitch from Twins reliever Glen Perkins.
But some ice Friday night was all the budding Sox star needed to soothe the redness and prepare for his first start Saturday.
“I was a little tired, but I think it’s good,” he said of getting into his first game quickly. “Now I’ll focus on tomorrow.
“I feel pretty excited,” the former Detroit Tiger said. “I feel very excited because I have a new family now and new friends. I’m really happy to be here.”
The trade Friday of Alex Rios to Texas opened the door to Garcia’s arrival less than two weeks after he was acquired in a three-way deal that sent pitcher Jake Peavy to Boston. Garcia saw some major league action last season and appeared in the playoffs with the Tigers through the World Series.
“Once he got here, I think that situation [in the 7th] called for him to be put in the game,” Ventura said. “It’s a different day for a lot of these guys,” he added of the changing of the Sox guard. “You see Rios leave basically 30 minutes before a game [Game 1]. The guys enjoyed having him here and he was a good teammate.”
But Garcia is the future now — and he knows it.
“I was really excited they know my name, how big a crowd,” he said of the ovation he received. “I feel pretty excited because they cheered me.
“I just try to play my game and do something to help my team win,” he said, trying to downplay expectations. “Wherever they put me I will try to play hard and do something good. I’ll try to help my team win.”