It’s easy to forget just how good Jaime Garcia was for the St. Louis Cardinals, and how quickly he came onto the scene.
Drafted in the 22nd round in 2005, Garcia immediately pitched well in the Cardinals’ system early on in his career, rocketed up the Cardinals’ prospect lists, made it to the big leagues in 2008, and became a rotation staple for the Cardinals in 2010 at just 23 years old after recovering from 2008 Tommy John surgery. For the better part of three years, Garcia was a key mid-rotation piece for the Cardinals, posting ERA/FIP/xFIPs in the 3.30 range, and right around 3.0 WAR.
And then he got hurt again. This time it was the shoulder, and it’s plagued him ever since. When he was able to be on the field – just 16 big league starts from 2013 to now – Garcia was good.
Well, Garcia is back again, after a long, long recovery, and he’s starting today for the Cardinals. With Adam Wainwright out for the year, and a handful of rotation questions from there, the spot is available for Garcia to grab it. If he’s healthy, he probably will, and the Cardinals might not miss too much of a beat.
The Cubs stand 4.5 games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central. At 27-13, the Cardinals have the best record in baseball. (Naturally.)