Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed Wednesday evening that 23-year-old left-hander Jaime Garcia has officially been named the Cardinals’ fifth starter.
Garcia, a native of Mexico, entered spring training in competition with Kyle McClellan and Rich Hill for the role. He blew away the competition, compiling an impressive 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 12/5 K/BB ratio in four appearances (12 2/3 innings), and is tentatively scheduled to pitch on April 10 against the Brewers. Garcia missed most of the 2009 season due to Tommy John surgery, but had a 2.87 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in nine appearances between rookie ball and Triple-A Memphis once he returned to action in August.
The Cardinals boast one of the best one-two rotation punches in all of baseball with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, and also have Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse locked into jobs for 2010.
Indians reliever Andrew Miller lasted only six pitches in Monday night’s appearance against the Red Sox. He walked Mookie Betts on six pitches before being relieved by Dan Otero. Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Miller reaggravated the patella tendinitis in his right knee.
Miller, 32, missed a couple of weeks earlier this month with patella tendinitis. He was activated last Friday and got two outs in a scoreless appearance against the Royals that night.
Bastian pointed out that Miller’s velocity has been lower than usual. He averaged 92.1 MPH on his fastball on Friday and 90.1 MPH on Monday, well below his normal average around 94 MPH.
The Indians should have more on Miller’s status after Monday’s game or on Tuesday. The lefty is carrying a 1.65 ERA with a 79/16 K/BB ratio in 54 2/3 innings on the season.
Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo and reliever Matt Bush collided attempting to catch an infield pop-up during Sunday afternoon’s game against the White Sox. Bush was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday with an MCL sprain in his right knee. Both he and Gallo are experiencing concussion symptoms, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports, and Gallo also suffered a nasal fracture. Gallo has not yet been put on the disabled list.
Losing both players is a big loss for the Rangers, who entered Monday’s action just 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot.
Gallo, 23, has had a breakout season, batting .205/.329/.561 with 35 home runs, 65 RBI, and 68 runs scored in 410 plate appearances.
Bush, 31, has been solid out of the bullpen, putting up a 3.04 ERA with a 53/18 K/BB ratio in 47 1/3 innings.