UPDATE: According to FOX Sports Midwest, Garcia may have talked his way out of being shut down. The Cardinals are going to skip him this week and then reevaluate the situation.
5:15 PM: Jaime Garcia was limited to just 37.2 innings in the minors last season after coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, so with 163.1 innings already under his belt this season the Cardinals have decided to cap the 23-year-old rookie’s workload.
Garcia has been fantastic, going 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA and 132/64 K/BB ratio in 28 outings after winning the fifth-starter battle during spring training, but he’d never thrown more than 155 innings in a pro season before and with the Cardinals all but out of playoff contention his remaining 3-4 starts probably aren’t worth piling onto the career-high workload any further.
Losing out on a couple more wins may hurt Garcia’s chances of getting Rookie of the Year votes, but he was far from a sure thing to come away with the award in a season full of strong rookie position player performers and instead shuts things down with the sixth-best ERA in the league.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.