Two of the key players in the competition for the number five starter delivered performances that were on opposite sides of the spectrum.
Freddy Garcia was slapped around for four runs in two-thirds of an inning. He walked three and allowed two hits before being removed from the game. Afterward, he spoke to reporters.
“I’m always slow, but this year is different. I’ve got to be ready. I’m fighting for a spot. I cannot sleep. I’ve got to perform if I want to be on the team. That’s the bottom line. In the past, every year I come to spring training and I know I’m one of the guys. This year is different. If I don’t pitch good, you know what’s going to happen.”
During a split squad game he fared much better but his fastball was noticeably absent relying mostly on breaking stuff and change-ups.
Meanwhile, Livan Hernandez was a much different story today as he pitched two perfect innings against the Cardinals. His fastball was also clocked 84-46 MPH which is better than he threw last season. He has been very impressive in camp.
“I went out and tried to put everything together and make some outs early.I tried to work on my mechanics and the location. The most important thing with pitchers is location. You’ve got to have location and you’re going to get people out. When you miss some pitches – it’s supposed to go outside and it’s in the middle – this is when you have problems. I tried to go outside and tried to make some good, quality pitches and I didn’t miss the spot too much.”
He also spoke on his chances of winning the final rotation spot.
“I’m the kind of guy, I don’t want to take a spot from nobody. I want to make the team. I want to have a good year and help the team win the World Series. I know I can I have a good year on this team. This is a very good team with a lot of good players.”
Tim Redding has yet to enter the fray, so let’s just say Livan is leading the pack right now.