Christian Garcia has been dealing with a wrist issue (forearm tightness) for the last week-plus. The 28-year-old right-hander felt what he described as a "twinge" last Sunday while throwing a bullpen session. Garcia received an MRI on the wrist this week and the reports on Friday said that the starter/reliever would miss a few days after team doctors diagnosed him with what the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore wrote was, "... a strain in the area between his right wrist and forearm," that only bothers the pitcher when he throws his fastball. As the WaPost's Mr. Kilgore wrote in his report on Friday, "[Davey] Johnson said the Nationals believe something is amiss with a tendon or ligament in Garcia’s wrist."
The Nats' skipper updated reporters on Garcia's status on Saturday, before the Nationals' Grapefruit League opener with the New York Mets. "I talked to him today," Johnson said, "He's just going to have to rest that thing until the tightness -- and it's not anything severe -- but I just told him, I said, 'Take it easy. It's a long Spring. You've got plenty of time." The Nationals' manager said that the team would still be able to stretch him out as planned as they attempt to prepare the reliever for a potential transition to the rotation after he worked exclusively out the pen last season.
"It's very small and it's so rare that there's mixed opinions," Johnson added when discussing the issue on Saturday. "But nobody knows how he did it, except the only thing, that it was really cold [last Sunday]. That was the day that it was windy as heck. I remember them telling me he had a nasty curve ball and he was filthy. But the day after that he had some tightness."
"He's still young in knowing how to go through a Spring and how to handle that," Johnson said, "I mean, he hasn't gone through a lot of these Spring Trainings, and more than likely he probably put more into each mound [session] when he wasn't totally ready."
According to reports from Space Coast Stadium this morning, where the Nationals get set to play the home opener of the Grapefruit League season, Johnson told reporters that the hard-throwing right-hander may rest up for up to two weeks as they take a cautious approach to the injury:
Davey says Christian Garcia will be shut down 10-14 days to rest forearm.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) February 24, 2013
Davey said the #nats plan to be on the safe side with Garcia, probably rest him 10 days-2wks if necessary, but all based on how he feels.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) February 24, 2013
Garcia has, of course, had three procedures (two Tommy John surgeries and a separate operation on the elbow) over the course of his career, but the Nationals don't seem to think this setback is significant, at least according to what Davey Johnson has said. More info on Johnson's comments from this morning when/if they are available...