Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia hasn’t appeared in a game since June 5 due to tearing in his rotator cuff and labrum. But things are suddenly looking up.
Andrew Wagaman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Garcia is headed down to the Cardinals’ spring training complex in Jupiter, Florida on Sunday and is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment within the next 10-14 days. That pegs his return to the major leagues for mid-August.
Garcia, 26, signed a four-year, $27.5 million contract extension with St. Louis last July. The native of Reynosa, Mexico has a 3.45 career ERA in more than 440 major league innings. He had a 4.48 ERA in 66 1/3 frames this year before hitting the shelf.
The Cardinals enter play Sunday trailing the Reds by five games in the National League Central standings.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.