Feb. 28: Q of the Day
With Jaime Garcia’s shoulder no longer 100 percent, is it possible he becomes a reliever/spot starter?
— Gregory L., Eagle River, Alas.
It’s an interesting proposition — and one I would expect the Cardinals to consider — but it also wouldn’t be as easy a transition as you might think. The decreased stress on Garcia’s shoulder, of course, would be the appealing part of making such a move. Perhaps pitching fewer innings would alleviate some of the soreness that Garcia could be poised to deal with for the rest of his career.
The counterpoint, though, is that Garcia would have to condition his shoulder (if used in relief) to pitch on consecutive days. The routine that he has developed as a starter would be wiped out. Taking away that sort of structure may not be the easiest thing for Garcia, both physically and mentally. (To the latter point, he has been known to take routine to the extreme.)
As for spot starting, I don’t think there is such a scenario that makes sense for the lefty. Either he is healthy enough to pitch or he isn’t. The Cardinals should not have to find an option somewhere in between. For more on Garcia’s current status, take a look at today’s cardinals.com notebook.
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