Jaime Garcia can finally spot the finish line.
The 26-year-old left-hander made his second minor league rehab start on Saturday evening at Double-A Springfield, surrendering just one run on two hits over 4 1/3 impressive innings. He struck out six and did not issue a walk while inducing six groundball outs.
According to Kary Booher of the Springfield News-Leader, Garcia is scheduled to make a third rehab start on Thursday. If that goes smoothly, he could be activated from the disabled list and cleared to rejoin the St. Louis staring rotation five days later.
That will mean pushing Joe Kelly or Lance Lynn into a middle relief gig.
Garcia had an underwhelming 4.48 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 66 1/3 innings this season before hitting the shelf, but his career ERA is 3.45 and his career WHIP is 1.34. He struck out 156 batters in 32 starts last year.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.