Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/13/10

The return of Kyle Lohse on Sunday vs. the Cubs enables Jaime Garcia to skip a start and rest up.



With the expected return of right-hander Kyle Lohse to the rotation after four starts on a rehabilitation option for his surgically repaired right forearm, left-hander Jaime Garcia will be skipped a start during the Cardinals' eight-game homestand that begins Friday night.

Garcia (10-5) has labored some in the second half of the season. In his last six starts, he has given up 39 hits and 16 earned runs in 32 innings, as his ERA has climbed from 2.10 to a still-respectable 2.71. In his last outing on Tuesday in an 8-4 win at Cincinnati, Garcia allowed just two hits but walked five while giving up four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals are choosing to be cautious with the young left-hander because he worked only 37 2/3 innings last year in the minors after recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery. Also, the Cardinals have two off days during their homestand besides having an off day at home Thursday.

"I think we're all interested in erring on the side of caution," manager Tony La Russa said. "Because the schedule allows the off days, there's a way to give him the off days the way we've been giving him or even miss a start. It's all good."

Twice in the last several weeks, the Cardinals have given Garcia two extra days of rest. However, in his last six starts, only once has he lasted past six innings.

"He's in his fifth month of pitching," La Russa said. "Like I said, err on the side of caution if we can."

This weekend, the Cardinals will throw right-handers Jake Westbrook, Chris Carpenter and Lohse at the Cubs. With off days on Monday and Thursday next week, right-hander Adam Wainwright will get an extra day of rest before he faces Milwaukee on Tuesday. Westbrook could pitch on Wednesday, giving Garcia even more time off, if La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan want to go that way.


RHP Kyle Lohse, who will face the Cubs on Sunday at home, hasn't pitched for the Cardinals since having forearm surgery in late May. To his discontent, he was asked to make three rehab starts for Class AAA Memphis and one for Class AA Springfield, but his nine-strikeout, one-run outing over seven innings Wednesday clinched his return to the big-league rotation.

Manager Tony La Russa will yield to his coaching staff for the next couple of days. La Russa and Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker both were suspended for two games for their roles in the brawling and jawing between their teams Tuesday night. La Russa will return to the dugout for Sunday's home game against Chicago.

RHP Jeff Suppan, who aggravated a groin injury while running in the outfield Monday, is on the disabled list but eligible to come off next Tuesday if the Cardinals want. Since Suppan last appeared on July 31, the team was able to take advantage of the rules and backdate his disablement to Aug. 1.

C Jason LaRue, who received a mild concussion Tuesday when he was kicked in the head by the spikes of Reds RHP Johnny Cueto, is still on the roster and could play this weekend. C Yadier Molina has started 16 consecutive games, but he got a day off Thursday when the team was idle. Rookie C Steven Hill also remains with the Cardinals.

CF Colby Rasmus' grand slam Wednesday marked the fourth time in the last year that a Cardinals player had hit his first slam at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Earlier this year, C Yadier Molina and 2B Skip Schumaker accomplished the feat, and in the last road series of 2009, RHP Chris Carpenter hit his first slam in Cincinnati.

By the Numbers:

1.22 - RHP Adam Wainwright's earned run average at home in 12 starts. This leads the National League.


Quote to Note:


"There's no whining in baseball."


- GM John Mozeliak, after losing 3B David Freese for the rest of the season with a severe ankle injury that required surgery.





Medical Watch:

C Jason LaRue (mild concussion, bruised ribs) was hurt during a skirmish in the Aug. 10 game. He is expected to miss a handful of games.

RHP Jeff Suppan (sore right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 1.

RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 5. He had surgery May 28 to alleviate muscle discomfort. Lohse began a minor league rehab assignment July 26, and he made what was likely his final rehab start Aug. 10 for Class AAA Memphis. He's expected to start for the Cardinals on Aug. 15.

RHP Jason Motte (AC sprain in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 3. He hopes to return as soon as he's eligible.

SS Tyler Greene (bruised right hand) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 1. Greene was struck by a pitch July 17, and the injury was still bothering him.

RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4. He won't need surgery, but he is probably out for the year.

3B David Freese (bone bruise on right ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 28. He also broke his left big toe in mid-July. He tore a right ankle tendon Aug. 2 in his first rehab game with Class AA Springfield, and he had season-ending surgery Aug. 6.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He threw bullpen sessions June 28 and July 1 but had to cut short a bullpen session July 6 because of tightness in his triceps area. He underwent an MRI on July 7, which found nothing that hadn't been diagnosed before. As of Aug. 5, he was playing catch but not throwing off a mound. Penny is out indefinitely.

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