The Cardinals had Jaime Garcia skip his turn last week due to elbow discomfort, but it appears it wasn’t enough. Dealing with reduced velocity, he was pounded for six runs in two innings before being pulled from Tuesday’s game against the Astros.
Garcia, who was typically working in the 88-90 mph range earlier this season, was throwing 85-87 mph tonight and was also ineffective with his curve. He allowed just his second homer of the year, that coming off the bat of Justin Maxwell. The six runs he gave up took his ERA from 3.78 to 4.48.
There’s a good chance Garcia will join Chris Carpenter on the DL after this one, potentially putting Brandon Dickson into the St. Louis rotation. It’d be another big blow to a team that would fall to .500 on the season with a loss tonight.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.