User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Cardinals' Jaime Garcia says shoulder healthy

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - 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.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Former MLB outfielder Otis Nixon arrested
Avila, White Sox reach $2.5M deal
D-backs name Magadan hitting coach
Braun optimistic following surgery
A's acquire Jed Lowrie from Astros
Rockies trade Brothers to Cubs
Marlins fire TV analyst Hutton
Carpenter, Lavarnway sign with Braves
Mariners sign C Iannetta to one-year deal
Why Buy Picks From
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 2463
Vince Akins + 1414
Chip Chirimbes + 1286
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 992
John Fisher + 906
Doc's Sports + 704
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 727
Bill Marzano + 560
Kyle Hunter + 559
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1664
Chip Chirimbes + 1582
Vince Akins + 1551
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 2104
Vince Akins + 1641
Don Anthony + 1557
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 633
Jimmy Boyd + 579
Kyle Hunter + 429
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership