(Baseball StL) -- One of the biggest questions the Cardinals face this spring is not knowing which Jaime Garcia will show up in 2013.
When he’s right, he’s very good. But he had problems last year with his shoulder. He was limited to 20 starts and went 7-7. He left a playoff game early after (saying he was completely healthy and ready to go. That didn’t sit well with some of his teammates, who have privately told him he needs to change the way he goes about some of his business.
With Chris Carpenter out of action the Cardinals desperately need Garcia to step up and have a big season. He came to spring training in good shape and experiences no apparently difficulty at all with the shoulder. He threw close to 40 pitches in his first workout on the bullpen mound. Pitching coach Derek Lilliquist liked what he saw and says everything looks very good at this point.
Garcia has made the rounds with the various media outlets in the early days of spring training. Everybody eventually gets around to asking him about the shoulder, and the problems that its caused him. Garica has been polite answering the questions, but he’s showing signs that he’s anxious to put that behind him and prove that this season will be different. For the Cardinals sake, it better be.