UPDATE: According to FOX Sports Midwest, Garcia may have talked his way out of being shut down. The Cardinals are going to skip him this week and then reevaluate the situation.
5:15 PM: Jaime Garcia was limited to just 37.2 innings in the minors last season after coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, so with 163.1 innings already under his belt this season the Cardinals have decided to cap the 23-year-old rookie’s workload.
Garcia has been fantastic, going 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA and 132/64 K/BB ratio in 28 outings after winning the fifth-starter battle during spring training, but he’d never thrown more than 155 innings in a pro season before and with the Cardinals all but out of playoff contention his remaining 3-4 starts probably aren’t worth piling onto the career-high workload any further.
Losing out on a couple more wins may hurt Garcia’s chances of getting Rookie of the Year votes, but he was far from a sure thing to come away with the award in a season full of strong rookie position player performers and instead shuts things down with the sixth-best ERA in the league.
The Orioles beat the Blue Jays again on Thursday evening, 4-0, and in doing so eliminated the Yankees and Astros from contention in the American League Wild Card race.
The offense pecked away with a run in each of the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth innings. Starter Ubaldo Jimenez limited the Jays to one hit and three walks with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Donnie Hart got the final out of the seventh. Brad Brach dominated with two scoreless innings to finish out the ballgame.
The Orioles and Blue Jays are now tied for the first and second Wild Card slots in the AL. The Tigers’ game with the Indians was postponed due to rain and they now sit 1.5 games behind both the O’s and Jays. The Mariners and Athletics game will begin shortly with the Mariners 2.5 games behind.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.