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.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.