Mozeliak on Jaime Garcia's GCL rehab outing

The general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals was on hand to witness Jaime Garcia in action in Jupiter, Fla. on Monday – and so were we!

The only left-hander to start a game for the St. Louis Cardinals since 2008 took his first big step back toward the Busch Stadium mound on Monday.

Jaime Garcia, who hadn't pitched in a game since June 5 because of a shoulder injury, threw 2-1/3 scoreless innings for the Cardinals rookie-level Gulf Coast League team against the Washington Nationals' GCL squad. He faced 10 batters and threw 46 pitches, 31 for strikes.

"It was good to see him back on the mound," said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, on hand to review the outing. "He felt good and strong afterward."

Garcia was placed on the disabled list on June 7. A day later, Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles concurred with the diagnosis of the Cardinals team physician, Dr. George Paletta, that Garcia has some tearing in the labrum and rotator cuff.

The 26-year-old Garcia opted for rest and rehabilitation rather than surgery.

On a back field of the Roger Dean complex in Jupiter Monday, Garcia allowed four hits, though one of those was a questionable call by the official scorer (me). He had one strikeout and didn't walk anyone.

"It was not a result-oriented test today," said Mozeliak, who added that he thought Garcia was throwing free and easy. "It was about showing that he had arm strength, and he did that."

Of his 46 pitches, 35 were fastballs in the 89-90 mph range. He also threw four changeups, three sliders, two curveballs and two cutters.

Garcia, the Cardinals' 22-round pick in 2005 out of Sharyland High School in Mission, Texas, threw 35 fastballs, 24 of those were strikes.

Mozeliak said Garcia will probably move upward for his next rehab start, though that will be discussed Tuesday after he looks at the schedules of the Cardinals' minor-league teams.

"Today was a very positive first step for him and the Cardinals," Mozeliak said.

Update: The Cardinals announced that Garcia will start next for Double-A Springfield on Saturday, August 4.

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