The St. Louis Cardinals removed Jaime Garcia from their National League Division Series roster Tuesday, a day after he lasted only 2 innings in his Game 2 start as a result of an ailing shoulder.
An MRI revealed the left-hander has a strained rotator cuff and inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He is going to be replaced by rookie right-hander Shelby Miller.
Garcia’s health was a concern after he missed 2 months this season with shoulder fatigue, but he had pitched well since returning in mid-August and won his past 3 regular-season starts. He said he had experienced some “normal stiffness” from those late-season games, but the feeling in the shoulder was different when took the mound Monday against the Nationals.
“We’re in the playoffs,” Garcia said. “I need to be there for my team. I’d like to be well placed to help out, but I just realized that once the game started, it never got better. I never got warm, and I had to say something. I made the decision. I said something at the right time, and we still won the game. It had been a really tough call for me to say something.” Baseball odds
A newspaper reported late Monday that several members of the St. Louis Cardinals were angry when they learned Garcia made a decision to pitch in the pivotal Game Two without revealing his status to the team. The newspaper also reported that a faction in the St. Louis Cardinals organization is doubtful about the seriousness of Garcia’s injury.
The St. Louis Cardinals’12-4 victory Monday evened the series at 1-1, with the series moving to Washington for Game 3 on Wednesday.
Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny dismissed ideas that Garcia should have spoken up about a likely problem before starting such a crucial game.
“He went back and forth just like every fellow does,” Matheny related. “You don’t know exactly how you’re going to feel till you get out there. There are times you don’t feel good, and I know that we have had some pitchers wondering about whether they can make pitch one, and next thing you know, they are standing on top of the mound in the 8th inning.
“I respect these guys’ preparation that they have going into a game, how they push through things, and try and make something out of nothing at times. If you waited around till you felt perfect, you would never play this game.”
Garcia, 26-year-old, was scheduled to have a 2nd opinion later Tuesday. The 4-year veteran made 20 starts this season, going 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA.
Lance Lynn, who pitched 3 innings in relief and picked up the Game 2 win, will take Garcia’s spot in the rotation if the Cardinals advance to the next round.
Miller, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, appeared in 6 games this season as a Sep call-up. He worked 13 2/3 innings with a 1.32 ERA.
Arm discomfort was reportedly to blame for Garcia only lasting 2 innings in his Game Two start against the Nationals on Monday. An MRI taken on Garcia’s injured arm revealed a strained rotator cuff