BaseballSTL (KMOV) -- Mike Matheny says he expects Jaime Garcia to be right in the middle of the Cardinals 2013 rotation.
Garcia hasn’t started throwing yet since leaving game 2 of the NLDS against Washington. He left that game due to a problem with his rotator cuff and inflammation in his shoulder.
Garcia had been dealing with the injury before that game, but apparently didn’t tell the team about it. Matheny and the Cardinals front office couldn’t have been very happy with that, but they want him back for 2013. Matheny said today he’s confident Garcia will be ready to go when spring training rolls around.
Matheny seems very high on the possibility of Matt Carpenter becoming the starting second baseman next season. The skipper told me today that “knowing the make-up of Carpenter, he’ll will himself to be in position to compete for the second base job”. Matheny wants to get Carpenter’s bat in the line-up as often as possible, and said that Carpenter routinely takes good at bats and battles pitchers as well as anybody on the roster.
Matheny said he matured as a manager as the season progressed. Early in the year, he closely monitored media reports about his team so that he could manage perceptions and try avoid having any of his players unfairly criticized. But as the season wore on, he realized he couldn’t control everything that was written and said about his team and paid less attention to the criticism.
In a town obsessed by its baseball team, Matheny encountered second guessers everywhere he went. He said “I’d go to events and have old ladies staring me down for not pinch hitting someone, and they’d let me know about it”. That same passion explains why the Cardinals average close to 40,000 fans per game at Busch Stadium. I suppose it’s better to be second guessed than never be questioned at all.