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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

How would you replace Jaime Garcia?

After left-hander Jaime Garcia struggled through 51 pitches in just two innings on Monday in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 12-4 National League Division Series win over Washington, he was pulled from the game.

Only then did Garcia report a return of shoulder discomfort, which he had felt in a recent bullpen session, but apparently did not share with anyone. He had missed two months of the season with a tear and was sent to get an MRI after leaving Monday’s game.

The question moves to how to replace Garcia on the roster for the rest of the NLDS and perhaps beyond. Garcia then could not be activated until the World Series, although one might assume his season is over.

How would you fill the need? The Cardinals currently have 12 pitchers and 13 position players on their NLDS roster. Here are some of the most prominent players initially left off.

Shelby Miller started the final regular-season game and pitched well, a continuation of his good work since his MLB debut. As a starter by background, Miller could work more innings as a middle reliever, replacing Lance Lynn, who seems primed to step into the rotation for Garcia.

Sam Freeman was sent to Arizona, where the Fall League begins today. Of course, he could return to the majors and has the advantage of being left-handed. Freeman would become the second situational left-hander out of the pen. Obviously, neither he nor Miller, as rookies, are playoff-tested.

Victor Marte was also left off the post-season roster and has appeared in 78 MLB games, though none in October.

Ryan Jackson is clearly not a pitcher, but could serve as a true shortstop reserve for Pete Kozma. With Rafael Furcal out, the club is lacking depth at the position.

Jake Westbrook is not ready to pitch and is away from the club while his wife is giving birth.

If Jaime Garcia is taken off the Cardinals NLDS roster, who would you add?

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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21 Responses to “How would you replace Jaime Garcia?”

  1. blingboy says:

    It won’t be Jackson, we know that.

    • Brian Walton says:

      During his long period of inactivity, maybe Jackson slipped down to the bullpen for some pitching tutorials from Dyar Miller.

      Seriously, yes, it appears they will be riding Koz to the end, whether good or bad.

  2. crdswmn says:

    I thought you couldn’t replace an injured pitcher with a position player during the playoffs.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I am not sure about that as some of those roster substitution rules were loosened. Perhaps not during a series, though it can be done between series for sure. As bb noted, it won’t happen here, anyway, but I should try to get clarity.

  3. crdswmn says:

    Per retweets I saw of Joe Strauss this morning he says that no one should ever believe anything the Cards organization says if they don’t publicly throw Jaime Garcia under the bus and reveal all of the clubhouse secrets to the world.

  4. blingboy says:

    So far the Garcia contract hasn’t been so great.

    Speaking of contracts, one of the upcoming topics will be Wainy. I figure it will be a bad sign if Mo starts saying no big rush, we have a year. Just like with Albert.

  5. Brian Walton says:

    Decision is announced. Miller on for Garcia. 84% of voters agreed.

  6. blingboy says:

    Watching live coverage of the guy trying to sky dive from the edge of space. Supposed to go supersonic on the free fall. Getting ready to launch the baloon. Hope he doesn’t crater.

  7. JumboShrimp says:

    Glad we scored 12 in Game 2. The thing we do not want to have happen is to drop 3 like to Dodgers in 2009. That was annoying. Now the Nationals know they have their hands full.

    Davey Johnson is wily. He was tough as manager of the Mets during the mid-80s.

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