The recovery of St. Louis Cardinals left-handed pitcher Jamie Garcia from a June shoulder strain will make a big step forward on Monday. The 25-year-old is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment that afternoon with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, reports B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest.
Garcia may need as many as three or four minor league starts as he moves up the ranks before he will be activated by St. Louis. Barring any setbacks, the best estimate for his return is mid-August.
Became a Cardinal
Selected in the 22nd round (680th overall) of the June 2005 First-Year Player draft.
Won 13 games and lost seven, while his team finished 19-13 in his 32 starts. The latter was tops among the rotation as was his 7.3 strikeout average per nine innings. Garcia logged 18 quality starts, second only to Carpenter on the team.
Ranked 4th in the National League in ERA (2.70), 2nd among all MLB rookies. Led all rookies with 13 wins and his .619 winning percentage ranked 2nd. Fanned 132 batters (3rd) and his 163 1/3 innings pitched and 28 starts were 2nd most among National League rookies. Finished 3rd in the NL Rookie of the Year Award voting and finished 12th
in the NL Cy Young Award voting.
Missed most of the season rehabbing, but returned strongly at the end, helping Memphis win the Pacific Coast League. Fanned 41 and walked 14 while posting a 2.87 ERA in 37 2/3 innings across three levels.
Pitched at three levels (Double-A, Triple-A and MLB) before undergoing Tommy John surgery in September. Made his MLB debut on 7/11 and first start on 7/20. Posted a 1-1 record with a 5.63 ERA in his first 16 big league innings.
Garcia was leading the Texas League in strikeouts (97) and ranked 10th in earned run average on July 18 before the organization shut him down over concerns with pain in his left elbow.
Garcia began with Class A Quad Cities and went 5-4 with a 2.90 ERA, allowing 67 hits, striking out 80 and walking 18 in 77.2 innings pitched while opponents hit just .229 against him in 13 starts. He was promoted to A-Advanced Palm Beach on July 23 and went 5-4 with a 3.84 ERA, striking out 51 and walking 16 in 77.1 innings pitched. He was named to the All-Star Futures Game in July, but did not appear in the game.
Garcia led all Cardinals minor league pitchers with 131 strikeouts, his 10 wins T-4th in the system and his combined ERA of 3.37 ranked 8th.
Although he worked out with the rookie level Johnson City Cardinals team, Garcia did not make a regular season appearance due to work visa issues in 2005. He did participate in the Florida Instructional League following the season, however, and he struck out 18 in eight innings pitched while not allowing an earned run. He allowed just three hits and two walks.
Garcia has dual citizenship from both Mexico and the USA. He was born in Mexico and attended high school in Texas, which is why he was draft-eligible.