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Injury free, Garcia out to prove himself

VIERA, Fla. -- Last season the Nationals were expecting right-hander Christian Garcia to be one of their better pitchers, but he didn't appear in a single Major League game because of injuries.

First there was the forearm injury he sustained iduring Spring Training. Then there was the shoulder impingement that kept him on the sidelines for two weeks. The worst injury came later in the season, when he injured his left hamstring, an injury that Garcia said took forever to get over.

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"It was very shocking. I was disappointed as well," Garcia said. "But injuries happen. It's something I couldn't control. It was like a domino effect. It was one injury after the other. Every time I got close to getting back, I had another setback. What made it frustrating was that I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and then it was another setback. It was very disappointing and frustrating."

Garcia is competing for a spot in the bullpen and hopes to make the same impression he did in 2012 as a September callup, striking out 15 in 12 2/3 innings and appearing on the National League Division Series roster against the Cardinals.

"My plans are to do everything I have control over," he said. "I come here, show up every day early, work hard and give myself the best opportunity to make the club. I have zero control over whether I'm in D.C. or whether I'm [at Triple-A] Syracuse. The only thing I have control over is [giving] everything I have."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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