Garcia could make Monday start

Garcia could make Monday start

DETROIT -- Freddy Garcia could get another start as a Tiger next week. Then again, if he re-signs, he could get plenty more starts as a Tiger.

The latter likely won't be decided until this offseason, since Garcia is a free agent. Next week, however, has more to do with the White Sox and Twins than Garcia, who would start Monday afternoon's makeup game against the White Sox in Chicago, if that game has postseason implications.

Most of the Tigers would need to get themselves charged up for a one-day trip and an extra game. For Garcia, who was such an integral part of the White Sox on their 2005 World Series team, motivation would be pretty easy.

"It's nice," Garcia said. "An elimination game, it's interesting. It would be a full house for sure, because they'd have to win. And I'd be on the mound."

With that in mind, Garcia will spend the weekend preparing for a start that might not happen. If it does, he'll be ready. If not, he'll head home and prepare for the start of the Venezuelan League winter season on Oct. 14. He'll pick up his pitching in his native country for Magallanes to build up his arm strength for Spring Training. Once the Major League offseason arrives, he'll have to decide where he'll be going next spring.

Given the way his brief stint in Detroit went, he wouldn't mind it being here. It's far from a certainty that he'll be back, since he'll be a free agent, but it's a very strong choice for him.

The feeling from the Tigers is mutual. Manager Jim Leyland said after Garcia's start on Tuesday that he likes Garcia a lot.

"I like it here," said Garcia, who signed a Minor League deal with the Tigers last month for only this year. "We'll see. We have to work it out and see what happens.

"I really like it here. It's a good ballpark to pitch."

As for Tuesday's loss, in which Garcia allowed five runs in as many innings with seven hits -- three of them home runs -- Garcia said he felt some minor tightness in his right shoulder, but cautioned that it was nothing abnormal. He is not concerned about it going forward.

Jason Beck is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.