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Jaime Garcia to be evaluated again on Monday


St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia remains on the sidelines, as he has since shortly after arriving at the team’s Spring Training complex in early February due to some persistent discomfort in his left shoulder. Garcia missed most of the 2013 season following surgery on that same shoulder. He’s been evaluated once already by Dr. James Andrews and it was concluded that he did not need to undergo another procedure.

Still unable to throw, Garcia will reportedly see Andrews again on Monday. It’s unclear when he’ll be able to start throwing again, but Garcia is expected to be placed on some kind of rehabilitation plan by the physical therapists in Andrews’ office, according to an Associated Press report passed on via ESPN.com.

Garcia will likely spend a few days in Alabama at Andrews’ offices. The Cardinals have already ruled him out for their Opening Day roster.

Jumping in head first during his first two full seasons in the Major Leagues, Garcia quickly became a popular member of the Cardinals’ rotation during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He’d make a combined 60 starts and would win 13 games each season, pitching to a 3.17 ERA and 1.318 WHIP over 358.0 IP. His 2010 campaign (13-8, 2.70, 163.1 IP) was good enough to let him finish third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

In the two seasons since he’s made just 27 starts, but the results have been very similar (3.81 ERA, 1.345 WHIP, 177.0 IP). Health has truly been Garcia’s biggest enemy.

St. Louis had been hoping that Garcia would be able to return healthy this season, giving the team a left-handed option in their starting rotation to work in alongside Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, and Michael Wacha. The organization has to be hopeful that Garcia can return at some point in the near future, but at this point it’s tough to make any kind of reasonable expectation as to when he’ll be ready to pitch again.

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