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How Avisail Garcia is trying to move on from two lost years to start his Marlins tenure

Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald on

Published in Baseball

JUPITER, Fla. — The key juncture of Avisail Garcia’s offseason began with a phone call to Miami Marlins teammate Luis Arraez.

“He called me and said ‘Hey, can I hit with you?’” recalled Arraez, who has won a batting title each of the past two years. “I said, ‘100 percent yes. Let’s go. Let’s hit together.’ He worked hard. I worked a lot with him. I think he’s going to have a big year.”

Garcia personally and the Marlins collectively are certainly hoping that’s the case.

Garcia, who signed a four-year deal with the Marlins ahead of the 2022 season, knows his first two seasons in Miami have not lived up to his standards. Injuries have limited his time on the field, and he failed to produce even when he was on the field.

There’s nothing he can do about that now. What Garcia can do is keep his mind in the present and work toward proving he can be of value to a Marlins club coming off a playoff berth.

“I want to have a great year for the team and do what I can do — what I know I can do,” Garcia said. “I want to be healthy. I want to be in the field.”

 

So far in his Marlins tenure, he has not done that. Garcia, entering his 13th MLB season, joined the Marlins with a track record for being a steady hitter. He was an All-Star in 2017 and had a stretch of hitting double-digit home runs in six consecutive full seasons (not including the pandemic-shortened 2020 season), including a career-high 29 home runs and 86 RBI in the 2021 season with the Milwaukee Brewers before joining the Marlins.

In two years with Miami, Garcia has played in just 135 games. He has a .215 batting average, a .576 on-base-plus-slugging mark, 11 home runs, 47 RBI and 39 runs scored.

He only played in 37 games in 2023, missing time because of back tightness and a hamstring strain.

Meanwhile, the Marlins went on to reach the playoffs for the first time in a full season since winning the World Series in 2003.

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