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Jaime Garcia Goes 8 Innings in Spring Training Game


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It was against the Nationals' AAA-team (they sent most of their regulars to play against the Braves), but still, 8 innings is pretty deep for a spring training game.

The Cardinals' starting pitching as a whole has been pitching well as of late.

Even Lance Lynn, who has struggled all spring, finally settled down and threw 6 shutout innings today against the Marlins.

And for the record, Lynn went through an extensive cardiovascular exercise program in the off-season, and now looks like a slender, athletic long-distance runner.

LANCE LYNN, BEFORE AND AFTER

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JAIME GARCIA O(vs. NATIONALS, 3/27) O(Spring Training)

IP:O 8

H:o. 6

R:O. 1

BB:. 0

SO:. 8

2013 ERA: 2.67 (Spring Training)

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If everything comes together, the Cards should have the best pitching staff in baseball. Of course, it rarely does come together. I still recall the great young pitchers and prospects the O's had entering the 2004 season. I bet that most O's fans have tried to forget them -- such a set of bad memories.

And then there's Michael Wacha, the Cards #1 draft pick out of A&M in 2012, who pitched 11-2/3 innings in 5 spring training appearances, allowed 7 hits, 1 BB and 1 run (unearned) while striking out 15. Coming Soon to A Stadium Near You

[Wacha] was sitting 90-93 with his fastball [against the Mets] according to the television radar gun, and was sitting pretty consistently 83-86 with what appeared to be his changeup. The key for Wacha was nearly pinpoint command, as he was painting the inside corner very consistently to each batter.

According to Baseball America, his changeup was "the best available in the 2012 draft", and BP rated it as a potential 60 grade pitch. Wacha also features a curveball, which is expected to be at least average as well. The key for him though, is his excellent command, which helps him to stay ahead of hitters and use his offspeed pitches more effectively.

What's Keeping Him From Contributing Now?

It's hard to be alright with a pitcher who hasn't thrown more than three innings in any game as a professional, which makes you wonder whether he will be able to do so long term. Realistically, the Cardinals need him to show that he can handle a starting pitcher's workload in the Majors, and he'll be given that opportunity at AA [actually, at AAA] to start the season. If he is able to do that, he could see himself get a shot at a rotation spot in 2014, potentially replacing Jake Westbrook (who has a mutual option for that season).

I watched the Mets game on TV. At one point, Wacha struck out a Mets batter with a 12-6 curve which caused the Mets announcers to go "Wow!"

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I watched the Mets game on TV. At one point, Wacha struck out a Mets batter with a 12-6 curve which caused the Mets announcers to go "Wow!"

I remember seeing this when I was a little kid in the 70's.

I'm gonna go go to St. ...... St. Louie.

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[video=youtube;zk-mzHggJ3U]

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  • 7 months later...
....

And then there's Michael Wacha, the Cards #1 draft pick out of A&M in 2012, who pitched 11-2/3 innings in 5 spring training appearances, allowed 7 hits, 1 BB and 1 run (unearned) while striking out 15. Coming Soon to A Stadium Near You....

Two things:

(1) Wacha has lived up to advance expectations.

(2) Even before the season began, Cardinals fans were concerned about Jaime Garcia's shoulder. Now that he's had the shoulder surgery and is reportedly fully recovered, we're anxiously waiting to see if he's still the front line pitcher he was before the injury. Cardinals are going to have to make some hard decisions, with a dozen good candidates for the starting rotation. Some fans are already arguing strongly to trade one or two of Lynn, Shelby Miller, or Carlos Martinez for a shortstop. (I'm not among them.)

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