Cardinals fans are excited that baseball is just around the corner. Spring Training games will begin on Friday and Opening Day will be a month away. However, the Cardinals might be an arm short in the starting rotation. Jaime Garcia is in St. Louis as we speak to be evaluated and according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the expectation of Jaime Garcia is low. Here is an excerpt of the article.
General manager John Mozeliak restrained himself but implied that there is low expectation for Garcia returning anytime soon.
Garcia’s story is decidedly two-sided. When he signed a four-year, $27.5 million extension at the 2011 All-Star break he ranked third in ERA among National League starting pitchers for the previous 1 1/2 seasons. The year before he placed third in balloting for the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year despite being shut down upon reaching an innings limit in September.
Garcia required elbow surgery before making his second major-league start but came to represent the Cardinals’ first signature lefthander since Joe Magrane. No more.
So what does this mean for the St. Louis Cardinals?
The Cardinals will have to move forward with Joe Kelly as the 5th starter in the rotation. This may also push up the timetable for Carlos Martinez to become a starter possibly this season. It wouldn’t be ideal because the Cardinals would like to stretch out Martinez’s innings first in games during this season so he learns to pace himself but the Cardinals may not have that luxury.
But what about Jaime Garcia? Will he pitch again for the St. Louis Cardinals?
I don’t think he will. Joe Strauss is one of the best baseball writers in the country. He has a list of sources that dwarfed many national baseball writers. And the impression I get from reading his article, Garcia isn’t going to pitch period. That would be a tragedy that William Shakespeare would dread writing. Hope for the best but the Cardinals have to prepare for the worse. Right now, it looks like the worse is imminent.
Contact Chris Flanagan at [email protected]