Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia won’t take the mound on Sunday as scheduled due to a setback with his surgically-repaired left shoulder, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Marco Gonzales will instead start Sunday afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the Mets.
Garcia made seven starts last season, in May and June, after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder to repair a partially torn labrum and rotator cuff in May 2013. He was shut down after his June 20 start against the Phillies with thoracic outlet syndrome. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak had said back in January that reports on Garcia’s rehab had been “extraordinarily positive,” so it’s obviously not good that he’s once again having issues.
Garcia was on track to win the No. 5 spot in the Cardinals’ starting rotation after allowing four runs with a 13/3 K/BB ratio in 9 1/3 innings this spring. If Garcia isn’t ready for the start of the regular season, Carlos Martinez is likely to take his spot in the rotation.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.