On The Washington Nationals Farm: Syracuse Snapshot, Christian Garcia, Eury Perez Shine Against Pawtucket

Jamie Squire

The Washington Nationals' top minor league affiliate got a new reliever recently. Christian Garcia's back on the mound and working his way back to the majors after suffering an injury this Spring. Can the right-handed reliever work his way back to the majors?

[ed. note - "This is the third piece from Federalbaseball.com intern Patrick Kenney. For much more from him on the Syracuse Chiefs follow him on Twitter @PRyKenney."]

By Patrick Kenny

SYRACUSE | Nationals prospects Christian Garcia and Eury Perez propelled the Syracuse Chiefs to a 4-3 victory over the visiting Pawtucket Red Sox at NBT Bank Stadium Saturday night.

Garcia trotted to the mound for the start of the seventh inning with the Chiefs down 2-1 and calmly, effortlessly shut down the bottom of the Red Sox order before he struck out the side in the eighth. It was his first appearance in Syracuse this season after he tore a tendon in his wrist in his first bullpen session in Spring Training.

Garcia pitched in 27 games for the Chiefs last year recording 14 saves before a call up to the big leagues on September 3. That call-up was the culmination two recoveries Tommy John surgeries when one is typically a player's limit.

"Frustration isn't going to do anything. The first couple of days I might be frustrated, but then I get my mind back where it needs to be, and get after it, and work..." - Christian Garcia on injury issues in his career

"Frustration isn't going to do anything. The first couple of days I might be frustrated, but then I get my mind back where it needs to be, and get after it, and work," Garcia said about coming off a third arm injury. "I am living a dream right now. It makes it a lot easier when an organization backs you up."

In 13 appearances for the Nationals in 2013, Garcia posted a 2.13 ERA, struck out 15 and walked just 2 and made the postseason roster.

"He is progressing and it is good to see that he is healthy and throwing the ball well," said Syracuse manager Tony Beasley about Garcia's first action on Saturday.

Washington was thinking of turning Garcia into a starter at the start of this season, but the wrist injury derailed that plan. The latest rumbling is that Garcia will throw long relief as the Nats try to restructure the bullpen.

"I am living a dream right now. It makes it a lot easier when an organization backs you up." - Christian Garcia on being able to pitch again

"At the end of the day I just love pitching," Garcia said about his role starting or relieving. "I love starting and I love going out for that one inning and giving it my all, giving it everything I got, laying it all on the line."

Garcia started his rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg before coming back to Syracuse.

Over in the batter's box, Eury Perez, showed why he looks major league ready as well.

With Syracuse and Pawtucket tied at two in the bottom of the eighth and runners on second and third with one out, Perez tripled to the right field corner, giving the Chiefs the lead and sealing the win over the first-place PawSox.

"Perez was able to give us a big hit," say Beasley, "That's all we need, to stay in games and hit down the stretch."

In 39 games with Syracuse this season, Perez has 56 hits, nine doubles and nine stolen bases. Although he has shined in the minors with speed and agility in the outfield, he hasn't produce in limited time in the majors.

Perez was called up last September but was not on the post-season roster. This year Perez went 0-5 in a brief call up from May 11-20.

"I love starting and I love going out for that one inning and giving it my all, giving it everything I got..." - - Christian Garcia on starting vs relieving

After the Perez triple and Garcia's three Ks in the eighth, Mike Broadway came in and closed the game for the Chiefs with 100 m.p.h. heat, as the Chiefs improved to 26-35.

Although the Garcia and Perez have yet to really to showcase their talents with the Nationals this season, they might have enhanced their chances for a call.

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