Jaime Garcia to return to Cardinals’ rotation Tuesday

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Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia threw the first five innings of a combined no-hitter on Thursday night at Low-A Peoria and has been cleared to return to the starting rotation after just the one rehab start.

Cards GM John Mozeliak told KMOX on Sunday that Garcia, who has been out since late June with a groin strain, will start Tuesday against the Reds. Tim Cooney was optioned back to Triple-A Memphis on Saturday to open up a roster and rotation spot.

Garcia’s struggles with injuries have been a near-constant throughout his career, but he has always posted good numbers when healthy and the 29-year-old is sporting an especially-good 1.69 ERA in seven starts this season.

St. Louis entered play Sunday with a ridiculous 2.64 combined ERA from its pitching staff.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.