2015 St. Louis Cardinals’ Season Review: Surprises

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May 21, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia (54) pitches against the New York Mets during the third inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

#5 Jaime Garcia

Ok, Cardinals fans turn your postseason blinders on for a second and let’s take a look at Jaime Garcia’s surprise season. Jaime started the season on the DL with shoulder fatigue, which was a surprise to nobody except maybe Garcia. Before the injury, most of Cardinal nation wanted to trade Jaime because there wasn’t any room for him in the rotation. That Garcia actually got to start this season is a bit of a surprise and came about due to the injury to Adam Wainwright.

When Jaime first came off of the DL, I previewed what we could expect from Jaime this season. I really expected him to have an ERA in between 3 and 4, and expected him to be a decent starter for this team. What, I didn’t expect was for Jaime to have an ERA of 2.43. Garcia was lights out this year and as I stated over the weekend had a ridiculous home ERA of 1.70. I did not expect this from Garcia. Garcia has shown flashes of brilliance at times in his career and had it not been for the injury at the end of June, we could have been talking about a legitimate comeback player of the year and we still may.

I fully expect the Cardinals to consider taking Garcia’s $11,500,000 club option and keeping him in the rotation for next season. This would set the rotation up as Wainwright, Martinez, Lynn, Wacha, Garcia in whichever order the team chooses. I don’t expect this team to pony up for a free agent starting pitcher or two more seasons of John Lackey. So, the best case scenario here is another season for Jaime, with Tim Cooney/Tyler Lyons/Alexander Reyes waiting in the wings if an injury were to present itself. I would also fully expect Garcia to have another similar year as the advanced pitching stats don’t present any concern for the left-handed starter.

These are my five surprises for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Who was most surprising to you Cardinals’ fans?

Be sure to check back over the next couple days as I continue the season review and talk about the top performers, the disappointments, and where the team will go from here.