Day 10: Bird Seed
The Cardinals’ workouts today were abbreviated since an autograph session with season-ticket holders awaited everyone early in the afternoon. Saturday’s news, though, did not come from anything that happened out on the field. The news was all about who wasn’t out there.
By now you likely know that Jaime Garcia has been shut down from throwing and is headed back to St. Louis to have his shoulder reexamined (full story here). It’s a tough development for Garcia, who was hopeful that his shoulder problems of 2012-13 were behind him. But if there is a team that can handle this sort of setback, it is the Cardinals, who have a plethora of young pitching talent.
So who does Garcia’s shut down benefit most? I’d say Joe Kelly and Carlos Martinez. Because those two have had success in a relief role, it would have been the easy move to have both start in the bullpen. But with Garcia’s spot now vacant, at least one should be in the Opening Day rotation.
The Cardinals expect to announce the results of Garcia’s MRI on Monday, so look for a followup to this news then. These sorts of setbacks are also why the organization worked so hard to retrain all of its young pitchers this winter. Depth isn’t just nice to have; it can be essential.
Other news and notes from the day:
- Two new pitchers — Kurt Heyer and Boone Whiting — arrived in camp today as additions to Major League Spring Training. With Garcia down and Jose Almarante still awaiting a visa, the Cardinals wanted to bring in two more arms to help cover innings.
- Jason Motte continues to progress through his rehab work, and pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said that Motte is on track to pitch off the mound (closer to max effort) within the next week. His throws off the mound to this point have been to a catcher standing up.
- The Marlins have announced that Jose Fernandez will start against the Cardinals next Friday in the teams’ Grapefruit League opener. Carlos Martinez will start for St. Louis.
- Six pitchers — Eric Fornataro, Tyler Lyons, Tim Cooney, Angel Castro, Marco Gonzales and Lee Stoppelman — threw live batting practice today. Another four pitchers — Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Martinez — threw bullpen sessions.
- This marked the third day of live BP, and almost everyone in camp has participated in it by now. The only pitchers to not yet throw live BP are Motte (rehabbing), Garcia (shut down), Kevin Siegrist and Jordan Swagerty. Siegrist is a few days behind after skipping a bullpen session earlier in the week. Swagerty, who is coming back from injury, is being monitored and slowed when necessary.
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