By Aaron Cheris
When the Colorado Springs Sky Sox lost their top catcher, Manny Pina, they had to turn to Double-A Biloxi to find a replacement.
Rene Garcia arrived in Colorado Springs on June 16, and immediately had an impact.
In his Sky Sox debut that night, Garcia drove in the tying run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly as the Sky Sox rallied for five in the ninth to tie, and then eventually beat the Iowa Cubs.
“That comeback we made the other night was crazy,” Garcia said. “You never know what will happen until the game’s over. We battled and you see the results.”
In his first three games with the Sky Sox, Garcia has batted .333 (4-f0r-12) and thrown out a pair of runners on the base paths. He is thrilled to be with, and hopes he gets the opportunity to stay in the Springs for a while.
“We have a good group of guys here, a good team,” he said. “I’m very excited.”
To stay here, Garcia knows what he needs to do, even if he may be the odd man out once Pina returns.
“I need to keep doing what I know how to do,” he said. “Just call the game the right way and play my game.”
The adjustment from Double-A to Triple-A has been one Garcia has made many times, as he has spent parts of the last four seasons between Double-A and Triple-A.
“There are a lot of veteran guys here (at Triple-A),” he said. “But it’s the same baseball.”
The road to Colorado Springs has been a winding one for Garcia, as he was originally a shortstop when he was growing up.
But when he was drafted by Houston in 2008, the Astros asked him to convert to catcher, and he obliged.
“I made the transition three months before the draft,” Garcia recalled. “They told me to catch, I said yes, and here I am.”
For now, Garcia and the Sky Sox will focus on finishing their longest homestand of the season well, as they start a six game series with the Memphis Redbirds tomorrow night.