Photo credit: Tennessee Smokies
Photo credit: Tennessee Smokies

Cubs News: It's official: Robel Garcia called up, reliever sent down

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PITTSBURGH – The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of infielder Robel Garcia from Triple-A Iowa and optioned right-handed pitcher Dillon Maples to Triple-A Iowa. Garcia, who will wear uniform number 16, will be available for the Cubs tonight when they continue their four-game series at the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Garcia, 26, joins the first major league roster of his professional career after batting .285 (73-for-256) with 14 doubles, 21 home runs and 58 RBI in 72 games this season between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa. Garcia has posted a .364 on-base percentage and .594 slugging percentage, good for a .958 OPS. The switch-hitter has batted .294 (52-for-177) with 16 home runs vs. right-handed pitching and .266 (21-for-79) with five home runs vs. left-handed pitching between the two stops this season.

The versatile Garcia has played 37 games (36 starts) at third base, 22 games (20 starts) at second base, six games (five starts) at first base, six games/starts in left field and one game at shortstop for the two clubs this season. He began the season with Tennessee, where he batted .295 (23-for-78) with six homers, 26 RBI and a .981 OPS in 22 games to earn a promotion to Triple-A on May 9. With Iowa, Garcia has hit .281 (50-for-178) with 15 homers, 32 RBI and a .947 OPS, averaging one home run per 11.9 at-bats.

Garcia signed a minor league contract with the Cubs last October after being scouted while playing with Team Italy in Arizona last Fall. He began his professional career in the Indians organization in 2010 and reached low-A ball before being released by Cleveland at the end of spring training in 2014. Garcia has since played overseas, most recently in 2018 for UnipolSai Bologna, whom he helped lead to last year’s Italian Baseball League championship, before signing his minor league deal with the Cubs, marking his return to professional baseball in the United States.

Garcia is a native of Las Matas de Farfan, Dominican Republic.

Maples, 27, has gone 1-0 with a 5.63 ERA (5 ER/8.0 IP) in 10 relief outings with the Cubs this season. With Iowa, he has gone 0-3 with three saves and a 4.95 ERA (11 ER/20.0 IP) in 19 relief appearances.

Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 39 players.

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