Just when the St. Louis Cardinals thought they had the pitching staff figured out…
Jaime Garcia, who looked so solid in his return from thoracic outlet surgery, now has another issue to deal with thanks to a nagging shoulder problem that popped up. Garcia missed his turn in the spring rotation this weekend.
It should be noted this may be a minor setback. But every time we see a pitcher like Garcia or Michael Wacha complain of injuries, fans cringe. These pitchers are the difference between a strong starting lineup and one that has holes at the back.
Garcia was supposed to pitch today, but St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold reported Garcia would be scratched and Marco Gonzales would go in his place.
This reactivates the debate about whether Gonzales should be sent down to Triple-A Memphis. The likely scenario had Gonzales in the minors, Carlos Martinez in the bullpen and Garcia in the fifth slot. General manager John Mozeliak calls Garcia’s setback “more of a pause than anything”, which suggests the team may slow down Garcia’s rehab schedule.
If so, there is a good chance Garcia could miss Opening Day. This is not a bad development. Many Cardinals fans would rather have a healthy Garcia for the stretch run than a Garcia whose shoulder was destroyed because the team insisted he start the season on the mound. The Cardinals have backup pitchers, but no one wants to see a pitcher’s career sacrificed.
For now, Garcia is in limbo as the Cardinals hope this injury is nothing serious. Cardinals fans hope the same thing.