The verdict is in on Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia.
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, the young left-hander was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement Friday after paying a visit to Dr. Lewis Yocum in California. Surgery is not being discussed as an option, but Garcia will be shut down for at least the next four weeks to allow the injury to heal.
Garcia is also expected to meet with Dr. James Andrews at some point in the near future, but the Cardinals seem pretty confident that they’ve nailed down the problem. Now it’s about getting the talented southpaw rested and right.
Joe Kelly will fill St. Louis’ vacant rotation spot on Sunday afternoon against the Indians. Garcia was sporting a 4.48 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 51/19 K/BB ratio in 66 1/3 innings before landing on the 15-day disabled list.
UPDATE, 11:04 PM: Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Friday’s testing “discovered tearing within Garcia’s rotator cuff and his labrum.” Which sounds pretty friggin’ serious.
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.