The St. Louis Cardinals' rotation suffered another blow Thursday when Jaime Garcia was sent to the disabled list suffering from a shoulder injury that's currently being labeled a strain. Fernando Salas was called up to replace him on the roster, with Brandon Dickson or Joe Kelly set to replace him in the rotation following a second move at AAA Memphis. Salas threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout in his return to the Cardinals' beleaguered bullpen, but the big story was the loss of Garcia, who'd stabilized their rotation as Adam Wainwright struggled to round back into form.
Right now the problem doesn't seem extremely serious; if it worsens, the Cardinals' four year, $27 million contract with the young left-hander could be a hindrance instead of a bargain. In 81 career games with the Cardinals Garcia is 30-20, with an ERA of 3.45. Just 25, he's emerged as one of the National League's more reliable and consistent left-handed starters.
And whether it's Kelly or Dickson who sets out to do it, he'll be difficult to replace.