02/27/2019 4:20 PM
CLEBURNE, Texas (Mar. 1, 2019) – The Cleburne Railroaders announced Friday the acquisition of left-handed pitcher Martire Garcia (pronounced MAHR-tuh-ray) from the Sussex County Miners of the Can-Am League in exchange for a player to be named later. The Railroaders subsequently signed Garcia to a contract for the 2019 season.
“Left-handed pitching is something that we’ve really been emphasizing over the last few weeks, and Martire provides some great depth in that area,” manager Brent Clevlen said. “He’s very tough on same-side hitters but also showed last year he could go multiple innings at a time, which gives us a lot of flexibility.”
Garcia began his professional career in the Minnesota Twins organization, signing as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2008. Then 18 years old, Garcia reported to the Twins Gulf Coast League affiliate and impressed immediately, posting a 3.25 ERA in 11 starts covering 52.2 innings. Garcia continued to operate as a starter in 2009 and 2010, earning promotions to Rookie-level Elizabethton and Class-A Beloit. His best stretch came at the beginning of the 2010 season with Elizabethon, where he went 6-0 with a 1.75 ERA in eight starts.
The Twins converted Garcia to a reliever prior to the 2011 season, and the lefty struggled to a 5.57 ERA in 14 outings before being granted his release. The native of Yamasa, Dominican Republic found his way back to the affiliated ranks in 2014, signing a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers organization. Garcia responded with perhaps his best full year as a professional, earning two promotions and compiling a 2.57 ERA across 23 appearances and 41.1 innings. With Double-A Frisco, Garcia went 1-1 with a miniscule 1.37 ERA, allowing only 12 hits in 19.2 innings while striking out 22.
Despite the 2014 success, the Rangers released Garcia after just three appearances the following year. He latched on with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League in 2016, making six starts and one relief appearance the tune of a 4.46 ERA. The 28-year old did not play in 2017, but found his way back to the Can-Am League in 2018 with Sussex County. Garcia helped the Miners to the Can-Am Championship with a strong season out of the bullpen, finishing the year 1-1 with a 3.81 ERA in 19 outings, all but one in relief. Over 28.0 innings, Garcia struck out 38 for a stellar 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings, allowing only 16 hits for an opponent batting average of .165.
Garcia also proved one of the best lefty specialists in the league, allowing only four hits in 31 at-bats for a .129 batting average. Among those four hits, only one went for extra bases.
The signing gives the Railroaders a total of 21 players under contract for the 2019 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during Spring Training, which opens on May 6.
The 3rd season of Railroaders baseball and the club’s pursuit of its first division title kicks off with a four-game home series against the Sioux Falls Canaries, beginning on Thursday, May 16. For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
Photo Credit: Phil Hoops/@hoopsapproved