It’s never good news when an injured pitcher schedules a visit with Dr. James Andrews or Dr. Lewis Yocum, but what about when an injured pitcher schedules visits with both of them?
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Jaime Garcia will do just that after the Cardinals placed him on the disabled list yesterday with a strained shoulder. He’s also been dealing with elbow and hip problems recently, leading to skipping a turn in the rotation last week before returning with a rough outing Tuesday versus the Astros.
For now general manager John Mozeliak has said that surgery “is not on the table” but obviously that doesn’t mean much until Andrews and Yocum take a look.
Garcia has been mostly healthy since joining the Cardinals’ rotation in 2010, making 72 starts with a 3.40 ERA to earn a four-year, $27 million contract extension about 11 months ago, but he had a long history of arm problems in the minors.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.