Last week, Jon Garland, who was coming off torn labrum surgery, was reportedly ready to be signed to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite pending a physical. That physical, which was scheduled for this past Monday, never took place according to Paul Hoynes on Twitter. Furthermore, former MLB GM Jim Bowden, now an on-air personality with ESPN's XM Satellite Radio channel, tweeted that Indians GM Chris Antonetti told him that Garland was not physically ready to compete for a job.
There remains a chance that the Indians could sign Garland in the near future and allow him to build his arm strength in extended Spring Training or with Triple-A Columbus so that he could be a depth option later in the season. The Tribe's medical staff is highly regarded in light of one-year signings like Kevin Millwood, Carl Pavano, the rehabilition process of Jake Westbrook, Scott Elarton, and others, so they are often an attractive option to pitchers looking to get their careers back on track.
Along with providing an update on the Garland talks, this Hitting the Fan post is largely to amend my View from the Porch article from last Saturday where I essentially handed Jon Garland the fifth starter spot, assuming that the smoke and fire about his contract talks meant that a physical was just a formality and that Garland would work to be ready by mid-April, the first time the Indians really need a fifth starter. Clearly, that did not come to fruition. My apologies for jumping the gun with Garland.
Kevin Slowey, David Huff, Zach McAllister, and Jeanmar Gomez will now battle it out for the final rotation spot, barring any other starting pitcher signings by the Indians.
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