MLB

Cardinals' Jaime Garcia says shoulder healthy

Share This Story

   
 

JUPITER, Fla. (AP)

(Eds: Updates throughout. With AP Photos.)By CHUCK KINGAssociated Press

With ace Chris Carpenter sidelined, possibly for the season, the St. Louis Cardinals are hoping for more wins and innings from Jaime Garcia.

The 26-year-old left-hander had reconstructive elbow surgery in September 2008, then returned in 2010, went 13-8 and finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

Now that was pressure.

''Nothing can compare with that year, being 23 years old and coming back from Tommy John surgery,'' Garcia said. ''I didn't have experience at the major league level every day. I had to compete.''

After going 13-7 in 2011 and helping the Cardinals win the World Series, Garcia slumped to a 7-7 record in just 20 starts last year. He was sidelined between June 5 and Aug. 19 because of a strained left shoulder, then lasted just two innings in Game 2 of the NL division series against Washington and was taken off the roster because of a strained rotator cuff and inflammation.

He chose rehabilitation rather than surgery during the offseason. He says his comeback from the elbow operation and fighting through the shoulder problem last season helped him gain perspective.

''That was a pretty tough thing to do to be able to stay focused,'' Garcia explained. ''After going through that and having the experience and just going through what I did last year, I'm not going to say it's easy, but it's easier to go out there and focus on the things I can control.''

Garcia passed his first major test of spring training on Saturday, throwing 25 pitches during a batting practice session. Garcia said Sunday he felt good and excited to be able to throw all his pitches.

Adam Wainwright, projected to start the Cardinals' opener at Arizona on April 1, was impressed by Garcia's workout.

''He looked great - sinking it, cutting it, curving it, changing it, just like he always does,'' Wainwright said. ''What he brings is very valuable. He has nasty stuff.''

If his health is good, Garcia is likely to be the Cardinals' No. 2 starter.

''He looks great,'' manager Mike Matheny said. ''He's going to be out there. That's all there is to it.''

Garcia is 34-23 with a 3.43 ERA in his first four major league seasons. All the time off from last season combined with better offseason conditioning has him feeling better now than during previous spring trainings.

''One thing I can say right now is that I'm healthy,'' Garcia said. ''The biggest thing is that I want to go out there for my teammates, for the front-office people that believe in me. I know I can be that guy that they know I can be.''

Tagged: Cardinals, Jaime Garcia

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..