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.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: