As if Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia’s luck wasn’t bad enough with pitching injuries now he’s got a hitting injury.
While rehabbing his shoulder injury in the minors Garcia came to the plate because pitchers bat in the Double-A Texas League, so naturally he was plunked in the elbow by a pitch. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that X-rays did not show a fracture, so he’s been diagnosed with a bruise for now.
As Garcia put it: “It’s really, really frustrating. I get out of one thing and something else happens.”
Before the hit by pitch Garcia had been slated to throw around 80 pitches, so if the elbow injury isn’t a major setback he could be relatively close to rejoining the Cardinals.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.