The St. Louis Cardinals could be without their most dependable starter this season until August, after receiving news that the shoulder injury bothering Jaime Garcia is an impingement that will sideline him for at least a month as he attempts to recover without surgery. Joe Kelly, making his major league debut, will take Garcia's spot in the rotation, at least until Chris Carpenter returns from his own injury.
In Garcia the Cardinals lose their only would-be ace who hadn't struggled already with injury problems. Carpenter still hasn't thrown in a game all year, and Adam Wainwright has only lately looked back on track after a slow adjustment following his own elbow surgery last season.
Kelly, a sinkerballer whose middling strikeout-to-walk ratios have slowed his ascent through the minor leagues, might be a Major League reliever in the long-term, but the Cardinals will give him every chance to prove whether he could be a young, cheap Jake Westbrook in the back of their rotation.
Garcia was 3-4 with an ERA of 4.48 in 11 starts this season, struggling most recently to a two inning, six-run finish that led pitcher and coaches to decide something was wrong. More Cardinals news from SB Nation St. Louis:
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