The Cardinals were expecting Jaime Garcia to be in the mix for a rotation spot this spring after his injury-plagued 2013, but that’s not going to happen.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Garcia felt shoulder soreness following a recent bullpen session and is scheduled fly to St. Louis tomorrow for an MRI. It’s a troubling development, as he required surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder last May. Regardless of what doctors find, he’s considered unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.
While losing Garcia hurts, the Cardinals are well-equipped to deal with his absence. At this point, Lance Lynn is a pretty good bet for a rotation spot behind Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, and Michael Wacha, so that likely leaves Joe Kelly and Carlos Martinez competing for the fifth spot this spring.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.