Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia will return to the team and start against the Braves at home on Saturday, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Garcia was sidelined late in spring training with inflammation in his left shoulder. He had undergone surgery to repair a partial tear of his labrum last May.
When Garcia — now 27 — has been healthy, he has been a productive member of the Cardinals’ starting rotation. Since 2010, when he became a featured hurler, Garcia has posted a 3.38 ERA with 429 strikeouts and 159 walks in 535 innings.
The Cardinals have been bitten by the injury bug lately. Joe Kelly suffered a hamstring injury and went on the disabled list. Kelly was replaced by Tyler Lyons in the rotation, but Lyons is now on the disabled list himself, dealing with a sore shoulder. Garcia will return and attempt to restore stability to the rotation.
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Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.