Jaime Garcia named Cardinals' fifth starter

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garcia posing.JPGJoe 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.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.