Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Indians 1B Ryan Garko an Endangered Species

Look for Indians 1B Ryan Garko's name to appear on the Endangered Species List if reports can be believed about veteran DH Travis Hafner's rapid recovery from shoulder surgery.

With Hafner on the mend and looking to return to his former form, and with the emergence of Kelly Shoppach at catcher, the Indians can be expected to give former starting catcher Victor Martinez a lot more time at first base.

In other words, once the music stops, Garko is the one left standing.

It's an unfortunate set of circumstances for the former Stanford man, who was just beginning to distinguish himself at the plate, having hit .282 with 42 homers in his 330-game major league introduction.

Though room for development remains, Garko clearly is poised to take the next step up, but may find himself headed to Triple A Buffalo. The minors cannot be ruled out because in the prime of his career at age 28 Garko desperately needs everyday playing time.

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