Jaime Garcia to visit Dr. James Andrews


From beat writer Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com:

JUPITER, Fla. — The Cardinals are delaying comment on the results of Jaime Garcia’s exam with team physician George Paletta until after the left-hander visits orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion on Wednesday.

Garcia began experiencing discomfort in his left shoulder last weekend and flew back to St. Louis on Sunday to have an MRI. Langosch notes that Garcia requested Wednesday’s visit with Andrews, but that doesn’t make it any less ominous.

Garcia was limited to nine starts in 2013 due to May shoulder surgery and struggled with elbow issues in 2012. The 27-year-old southpaw owns an impressive 3.45 ERA and 55.5 percent groundball rate in 551 total major league innings, but arm injuries are now threatening to completely derail his career.

You can probably lock in Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller, and Lance Lynn for St. Louis’ season-opening starting rotation. The final spot likely comes down to Joe Kelly or Carlos Martinez.

Madison Bumgarner diagnosed with fractured left hand

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Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner sustained a displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal of his left hand on Friday. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, a procedure that could require a four-to-six-week recovery period before he’s cleared to throw again. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Bumgarner’s total recovery time is expected to take 6-8 weeks. In a best-case scenario, the lefty said he should be able to pitch again before the All-Star break, but given the amount of time and care it’ll take for him to shoulder a full workload, it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to do so.

Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.

The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. Without him, the Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.

This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”