Former Cardinal Jaime Garcia has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball.
A free agent after a rocky 2018 spent between the Blue Jays and Cubs--his record stood at 3-7 with a 5.82 ERA for the year--Garcia calls it a career at only age 32 after battling injuries throughout many of his 10 seasons in the big leagues.
Garcia’s time in St. Louis is probably most commonly remembered for some of the more negative elements--the inability to stay on the field, and in the 2015 NLDS against Chicago, the inability to realize when he probably shouldn’t have been on it in the first place. Indeed, plenty of controversy surrounded Garcia’s tenure with the Cardinals.
But, man, during those fleeting moments where he was healthy, and pitching at his full strength? Jaime Garcia could be as filthy as anyone.
The present-day Cardinals don’t really have a southpaw in their rotation like what they had in Garcia during arguably the most complete campaign of his career, the World Championship 2011 season. That year, Garcia was a workhorse. He ranked second on the team with what would prove to be a career-best 194.1 innings pitched, going 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA.
He was the starting pitcher for Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, though his short start that evening was far removed from the headlines the next day. His best postseason outing came earlier in that same series, when Garcia shut out the Rangers across seven innings in a 2-1 Cardinals loss in Game 2.
In his eight seasons with the Cardinals, Garcia owned a 62-45 record with a sturdy 3.57 ERA. Drafted in the 25th round of the 2005 MLB Draft, he originally came up with the Cardinals briefly in 2008 before establishing himself more firmly in the St. Louis starting rotation in 2010. Following the 2016 season, the Cardinals traded Garcia to the Braves for a package of prospects including John Gant (still with the team), Chris Ellis (selected by Rangers in this year’s Rule 5 Draft), and Luke Dykstra (currently out of affiliated baseball).