While Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia did not have success in his first organized baseball appearance Sunday following a year-long layoff, reliever Jason Motte was quite the opposite. Motte, who was making his first appearance since March 21 of last year’s spring training, took a big step in his recovery from Tommy John surgery by throwing an inning with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. There’s not much he could have done better, as he threw nine strikes on 13 pitches, striking out the side.
Motte will probably need nearly the full duration of his rehab assignment to really get a good feel for pitching again. However, he should be a huge asset to the Cardinals when he ultimately returns. The team is struggling a bit by having inconsistent young relievers like Eric Fornataro and Seth Maness in the bullpen that are occasionally being thrown into pressure situations. By having a seasoned veteran like Motte at their disposal, the Cardinals can feel much more comfortable in the late innings.