UPDATE: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Garcia will indeed undergo thoracic outlet surgery. He’s done for the year.
1:25 p.m. ET: Jaime Garcia landed on the disabled list late last month with more shoulder issues and now Brian Stull of STLBaseballWeekly.com reports that he is facing a decision on whether to undergo thoracic outlet surgery.
Garcia, 27, was limited to just nine starts with the Cardinals last season due to surgery to repair a 30-40 percent tear in his labrum. He managed to return this May and posted a 4.12 ERA over seven starts prior to being placed on the disabled list with what was termed as a left shoulder inflammation. Thoracic outlet surgery, which usually involves having a rib removed to alleviate a nerve issue, would essentially end his season.
Garcia is owed $9.25 million next season while his contract includes club options for 2016 and 2017. With a 3.50 ERA over nearly 600 innings in the majors, he has been effective when healthy, but those days have been few and far between recently.
Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.
That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.
That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.