Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed Wednesday evening that 23-year-old left-hander Jaime Garcia has officially been named the Cardinals’ fifth starter.
Garcia, a native of Mexico, entered spring training in competition with Kyle McClellan and Rich Hill for the role. He blew away the competition, compiling an impressive 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 12/5 K/BB ratio in four appearances (12 2/3 innings), and is tentatively scheduled to pitch on April 10 against the Brewers. Garcia missed most of the 2009 season due to Tommy John surgery, but had a 2.87 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in nine appearances between rookie ball and Triple-A Memphis once he returned to action in August.
The Cardinals boast one of the best one-two rotation punches in all of baseball with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, and also have Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse locked into jobs for 2010.