The St. Louis Cardinals' injured starter is a member of Team Mexico ahead of 2013's World Baseball Classic. But will he pitch?
Jaime Garcia is the odd-man out in a lot of discussions about the St. Louis Cardinals' 2013 rotation, thanks mostly to the shoulder injury that prematurely ended his postseason. The announcement that he'd join Team Mexico for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, to be held prior to the regular season, changed all that, but probably not for the reasons he'd hoped. Now Cardinals fans have found an entirely new reason to be mad about Jaime Garcia, who managed to anger separate groups of fans last year by appearing insufficiently tough and later playing through an injury without talking about it.
In any case—though I'm not familiar with any rigorous analysis of whether the World Baseball Classic really hinders players during the regular season, this will be the latest reason people have not to feel very comfortable with relying on Garcia in 2013. Which is probably a good thing—I don't think expectations have ever been lower for Garcia, and given his peripherals last year he seems likely to exceed them if he's healthy.
As for me, I can't get too mad; whatever the effect on the Cardinals' players, I love the World Baseball Classic. More Cardinals-related news from the WBC: Stubby Clapp(!) and Larry Walker will be coaching for Team Canada.