Braves give Adonis Garcia his 1st MLB callup at 30

It took him a little longer than expected, but Adonis Garcia realized a dream Tuesday when he suited up for his first major league game.

The Braves called up the 30-year-old Cuban corner infielder/outfielder from Triple-A Gwinnett after utility man Phil Gosselin was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured thumb that will require surgery Wednesday and likely sideline Gosselin for about two months.

Garcia, a former Yankees farmhand, ranked second in the Triple-A International League in batting average (.351), hits (47) and doubles) 11) and also had a .380 on-base percentage and one homer in 142 plate appearances. He was Gwinnett’s player of the month in April after batting .328 with five doubles, a homer and 10 RBIs in 18 games.

“I want to thank God and the organization for being called up,” Garcia said through translator Eddie Perez, the Braves’ bullpen coach. “Ten years ago when I was in Cuba, my dream was to play in the big leagues. I left Cuba four years ago, so now I’m so happy to be here.”

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Garcia would likely be limited to a pinch-hitting role while with the team, though he didn’t rule out playing him at third base for a game or two. He has also played left field at Gwinnett and could play in right field or first base in an emergency.

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 Atlanta United celebrates MLS Cup at legendary Atlanta strip joint
  2. 2 Delta bans puppies as service animals
  3. 3 Georgia High School Sports Scores

“Snit (Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker) and I had been talking about him for about 10 days, because he’s really swinging the bat down there,” Gonzalez said. “So we bring up Garcia and he can help us, bat off the bench. I don’t know how much he’s going to play because we’ve got (Pedro) Ciriaco, who you feel comfortable with. You’ve go (Alberto) Callaspo out there to play third base. But we’ll get him in there. We’re hoping that Chris Johnson is just around the corner, that he can come back and join the team.

“But Snit did say this guy can swing the bat and can really turn around a fastball. So we’ll see. We’ll get him in there sooner or later. He’s never played in the big leagues, so we’ll get him in there as a pinch-hitter or something.”

Garcia played seven seasons in Cuba’s top league, Series Nacional, then left the country and spent one winter in the Venezuelan league before signing with the Yankees in May 2012. In his first season in Triple-A in 2014, Garcia hit .319 with 32 extra-base hits (nine homers) and a .353 OBP and .474 slugging percentage in 86 games.

More from AJC