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Jaime Garcia to undergo tests for sore shoulder

Feb 22, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT

jaime garcia getty Getty Images

The Cardinals were expecting Jaime Garcia to be in the mix for a rotation spot this spring after his injury-plagued 2013, but that’s not going to happen.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Garcia felt shoulder soreness following a recent bullpen session and is scheduled fly to St. Louis tomorrow for an MRI. It’s a troubling development, as he required surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder last May. Regardless of what doctors find, he’s considered unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.

While losing Garcia hurts, the Cardinals are well-equipped to deal with his absence. At this point, Lance Lynn is a pretty good bet for a rotation spot behind Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, and Michael Wacha, so that likely leaves Joe Kelly and Carlos Martinez competing for the fifth spot this spring.

  1. gibbyfan - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    I guess you can never have too many quality pitchers.

    • 78mu - Feb 22, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      Joe Kelly, c’mon down.

  2. jre80 - Feb 22, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    As a redbird fan, this was going to happen sooner or later. Sooner being better. Garcia just can’t stay healthy. Every yr he gets hurt it seems to break up a good pattern and stl tries arm after arm til someone works. They now have the arms to withstand this injury. Not a real big deal

    • spudchukar - Feb 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      They are still a better team with Garcia in the rotation. His compatriots say he has the best stuff on the club. Shoulder surgeries are tricky, especially labrums, and sometimes it takes a while to heal. Maybe Garcia was hoping to be completely painless; that seldom happens.

      Since the Cards have lots of options, no reason to rush him. Take your time Jaime, and get well.

    • forsch31 - Feb 22, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      “Can’t stay healthy.” Garcia’s been dealing with the same injury for the past two seasons–a torn labrum, the kind which has pretty much ended countless pitchers’ careers, including Mark Mulder’s. He finally had surgery on it last year, which is always a last resort, and this was his return from it. It’s a risky procedure, and the rehab isn’t guaranteed. This is his first setback.

      Despite a wonky shoulder, Garcia has been one of the better left-handers in the National League. Wishing him out of the rotation seems rather foolish. It’s like wishing Wainwright out of the rotation, because his elbow could go again….

      While this opens the door for Carlos Martinez to make the rotation, Martinez is still a starter in development, with work still needed on his secondary pitches. He has the stuff to make the bullpen, but I’d rather not his career path go the same way as Rosenthal’s (especially since Trevor already has that job).

    • gibbyfan - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Doubly bad luck for the birds in that I think it was about the time that he got his contract extension that problems started…..not sure how many years left on that deal.

  3. paperlions - Feb 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    This sucks for Garcia and the Cardinals because when healthy he is a very good pitcher. At the very least they have MANY viable options to replace him in the rotation, I would love to see Carlos win the 5th spot….love watching him pitch and would love to see what he can do as a starter, even if he is limited to 150 IP this year. He has always held his velocity deep into starts and he has the repertoire to be able to start.

    • spudchukar - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      I agree except that Kelly may be even better. In my heart of hearts I would love to see both of them in the rotation, but neither Miller nor Lynn seem to be the kind of guys who would make a move to the pen without ego injury. Without Garcia, the Cards have no lefties in the starting group and in their division (except Milwaukee), that isn’t ideal. What to do, what to do. I guess they have all Spring Training to sort it out, but even with all their talent, somebody is going to end up unhappy.

      • missingdiz - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        I think Kelly was a better starter than Lynn in the second half. Kelly lets a few more batters reach base on av. than Lynn, but a lot more of Lynn’s end up scoring. I’m not adept with all the new stats, but I saw some indication (RISP, 2 outs) that Kelly may handle pressure better and avoid crooked-number innings. That was my impression watching them on the mound too; Kelly seems to maintain his composure, while Lynn sometimes seems stressed and loses his self-confidence. Hurt feelings or not, it might be better to use Lynn out of the bullpen where he’d just get up, get loose, and get in there without much time to think about it.

      • forsch31 - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:33 PM

        Kelly is not better. He walks a tightrope whenever he starts. And if Miller and Lynn go to the bullpen, the manager should be fired. One guy finished 3rd in rookie of the year, the other guy gave you 200 innings. You don’t put a potential future ace and a workhorse in the bullpen when your other options are a young guy on a innings limit and a spot starter.

      • spudchukar - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        Kelly is better. Nobody can square him up. It is a rare talent that not many pitchers possess and like missingdiz, points out he can make quality pitches when he needs to.

        Lynn has excelled in the pen before, and Miller is still a one pitch pitcher, although his cutter did develop during the year.

        The choices aren’t easy, but the point is a manager should employ those who he believes makes his team the best and not rest on past laurels.

  4. jre80 - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    No leftys in the rotation not a big deal with the quality of arms the cards have to work with. And the comparing Garcia to waino statement above was absolutely foolish btw.

  5. okwhitefalcon - Feb 22, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Unfortunate for sure, shoulders are tricky.

    No matter how the Cards have spun things thus far, the competition for the 3/4/5 spots in the rotation is more a competition for 5th – even if that.

    Waino, Wacha, Lynn and Miller are dead solid locks barring injury with Kelly and Martinez vying for 5.

    Kelly will have a distinct edge due to a strong finish last year and Martinez’s general unhittable stuff late in games.

    I think both will get their chance(s) to start at some point due to health/fatigue anyway, Tyler Lyons as well.

  6. okwhitefalcon - Feb 22, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Thoughts, options, storylines (not narratives) on Garcia and how the Cards will handle things from STL Post Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz:

  7. stlouis1baseball - Feb 24, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Issues with his labrum? No! Really? Impossible. Who saw this coming?

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