St. Louis Cardinals: Taking a look back at Jaime Garcia

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ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 8: Starter Jaime Garcia #54 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning at Busch Stadium on September 8, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 8: Starter Jaime Garcia #54 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning at Busch Stadium on September 8, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Since being traded by the St. Louis Cardinals, Jaime Garcia has had trouble finding a consistent organization.

Jaime Garcia has been traded three times since the off-season. From the St. Louis Cardinals to the Braves. Then from the Braves to the Twins, followed by Minnesota shipping him off to the New York Yankees earlier today.

After his departure from St. Louis, Garcia has had a rough go of things. He posted an ERA of 4.30 with the Braves, and through only one start with the Twins he had a 4.09. But with the Cardinals he was a much more reliable left-handed arm in the rotation. When he was healthy that is.

Through eight seasons starting in St. Louis he threw over 150 innings just three times. However, he was always pretty reliable. He would consistently perform with an ERA under four, and he always would hover between seven and nine with his average strikeouts per nine innings. Even though he would couple that with a fairly high walk rate.

Garcia played a key role in the 2011 World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. After struggling throughout the playoffs, the then twenty-four year old threw ten innings and gave up only two runs. It was an important performance to contribute to bringing another ring back to a great organization.

All in all, looking back at the Cardinal era for Garcia it is more good than bad. It all started when St. Louis drafted him in the twenty-second round of the 2005 draft. It took the mid-round selection only three years to prove himself as he debut in the MLB in 2008.

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During his stretch with Atlanta, talks of his batting prowess came to fruition after he nailed a grand slam. His career at the plate with the St. Louis Cardinals wasn’t too bad either…for a pitcher. He hit .149 with three homers, three doubles, and even a triple. Twice he had a season batting average of .250.

But of course it was his pitching that made Garcia a trade commodity.

In the spirit of full nostalgia, travel back to April 14th, 2016. The Cardinals were squaring off against the Milwaukee Brewers with Garcia toeing the rubber.

Not only was this a Cardinal win, but it was the last shutout that Garcia would throw with the Birds on the Bat across his chest.

The handling of Garcia was close to perfect. He was fading out of the rotation after eight solid years, and the St. Louis Cardinals got three guys who would slide into the top-30 prospects at the time. Clearly, they dealt him at the right time too. It was obvious in 2016 that he was not going to be the guy he once was for the 2017 season.

Next: Trade targets one day from the deadline

So hats off to the Cardinals front office. But also hats off to Jaime Garcia. He was a great piece to have in the rotation when he was healthy for nearly a decade.

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