SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Another serious hip surgery for another Giants catcher.
Once it was Buster Posey who tore his labrum in late 2018, a procedure that he only feels fully recovered from this offseason.
Aramis Garcia underwent the same surgery last week, jeopardizing an entire season that had a chance to be his season. For the first time, he was set to enter camp as the front-runner for a major league job, the most logical backup to Posey in an uninspiring competition. Instead, the 27-year-old hobbled into the Giants’ new Arizona facility on crutches, with a six-to-eight month timetable that would see him return, at the earliest, in August.
“I’m choosing to think about it as, because this injury happened when it did, I have a chance to come back this year,” Garcia said Thursday in his first public comments since going under the knife.
“I feel like if it would have happened in the middle of camp or end of camp, my season would be done. … I have a chance to come back this year.”
Bettors might not like the odds, though, after how much Posey struggled to return to form; his six-month mark was last February, when he still had trouble running.
The two catchers have talked about the surgery, which came as a surprise to outsiders but was a long time coming for Garcia. He had been dealing with discomfort on and off since last summer, which he treated with anti-inflammatories and work with trainers.
The pain lessened and Garcia headed to the Dominican Republic Winter League to prep for a gig that he could almost grasp with the Giants. Instead, during eight or nine games catching there, the pain returned and intensified.
“I had a feeling when I was in the DR this was where it was heading,” said Garcia, who’s played in 37 major league games split between the last two seasons. “Never having felt that pain on a baseball field — just had a feeling it wasn’t going to end well.”
He was right. In his stead, the backup-catcher job likely will be decided between Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly.
At least until (and if) Garcia returns.
“Hopefully, [the timetable] can be a little shorter,” he said.