Jaime Garcia named Cardinals' fifth starter

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garcia posing.JPGJoe 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.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.