Every MLB team deals with injuries over the course of the long season. Dings and dents to the starting rotation, in particular, can make or break certain teams and distinguish the true contenders from the rest of the pack.
The St. Louis Cardinals, a team regarded for their organizational depth and seemingly bottomless pool of talented starting pitchers, will be put to a major test in the coming weeks. On Sunday the team announced that they have placed right-handed starter Michael Wacha and left-handed starter Jaime Garcia on the disabled list, both with shoulder issues.
Wacha’s injury, described by Mozeliak as a stress reaction in his right shoulder, came as a surprise to the Cardinals, who were expecting more routing findings when giving him a CT scan and MRI earlier this week. The organization received the results Saturday, and, after Wacha continued to feel tightness when trying to throw Sunday, decided he needed to be shut down for at least a few weeks.
As for Garcia, this is the sad continuation of a struggle with shoulder injuries that has gone on for the last number of seasons, including an operation last May that cost him the remainder of the 2013 season. As Langosch reports it:
Garcia was unavailable for comment Sunday, though Mozeliak said it was his understanding “that his last couple [starts] this is something that has been bothering him.”
There is no timetable for either pitcher’s return, meaning that the Cardinals will lean on Carlos Martinez in the rotation as well as Joe Kelly once he is able to return from his own injury. Those options are better than most teams would have to offer, but this moment will still test the Cardinals as contenders in 2014.
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