For all you prospect hounds, some very good news - Christian Garcia is (finally) pitching again! He pitched one inning for the GCL Yankees yesterday and struck out the side.

This is the first appearance for Garcia this year as he has struggled with injuries, specifically a strained oblique, though I assume something else must have come up for him to be out this long. He was supposed to start the year at single-A Tampa (alongside Phil Hughes) but the aforementioned injuries have held him back until now. Expect him to be watched very carefully and kept on pretty strict pitch counts as he works up his arm strength. Hopefully, he can make log some meaningful innings this year so that the Yanks can get a better feel for where he currently stands.

For those of you who don't know much about Christian Garcia, here's a little recap. A former catcher (he only started pitching senior year of high school), he was a 3rd-round draft pick in 2004 (same year as Hughes (yeah!) and Poterson (boo!)) and his stuff has often been described as electric. He throws a 4-seamer that sits in the 92-95 mph range (though he cranked it up higher towards the end of last year) and might even add a couple of ticks as he gets older and adds a little weight (turns 21 in a month and a half and is listed at 6'4" 175 lbs.). His repertoire also includes a very good (some say major-league ready) knuckle-curve, an average-at-best change-up and a splitter.

Because he hasn't been pitching very long, he's still very raw on the mound (i.e. he's not a pitcher yet) and sometimes get rattled and loses command of his pitches. Still, when he does have his pitches working for him, he has been near un-hittable. That, combined with pretty good reports from most scouts and "good projectability" gives him one of the highest ceilings in the Yankee system. In fact, you could make the argument that he slots in right behind Hughes in that respect. Still, before you get too much more excited, let's just be happy that he's back and healthy and hope that he pitches very well for the rest of the year.