Jaime Garcia’s shoulder injury has teammates “incensed” and team “skeptical”

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Jaime Garcia was pulled from his Game 2 start after just two innings and the Cardinals have decided to remove him from the playoff roster after the left-hander complained of shoulder problems.

And that’s where it starts to get interesting, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Garcia was apparently pitching at less than full strength, but didn’t tell anyone that until after his poor start against the Nationals. General manager John Mozeliak called the team’s lack of knowledge about Garcia’s issue “frustrating” and it sounds like that’s an understatement.

Strauss reports that “several teammates were incensed to learn that Garcia started such a monumental game if indeed compromised physically.” On the other hand, Strauss also writes that “a faction within the organization has remained skeptical about the severity of Garcia’s condition.”

Which, when taken together, paints a very odd picture. Garcia’s teammates are angry he pitched hurt and Garcia’s team doesn’t believe he was all that hurt? Doesn’t that seem like it has to be one or the other, at the very least?

Garcia, who missed two months earlier this season with a shoulder injury, underwent an MRI exam yesterday. If he’s indeed removed from the NLDS roster he’ll be ineligible to rejoin the roster until the World Series.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.