The St. Louis Cardinals are looking to take their weekend series against the NL Central rival Pirates on Sunday afternoon with Jaime Garcia on the mound. Sunday marks the first start for Garcia since early June, when he was put on the shelf with a still undefined shoulder ailment. Garcia's return should provide a boost for the Cards' rotation, as well as the bullpen with fireballer Joe Kelly now moving into a relief role.
Garcia battled control problems in a month of May that really got away from him. While he may not be considered the "next big thing" in the rotation, SB Nation's Dan Moore thinks he can still be a quality contributor:
He's having a pretty good year anyway. Worse than last year, about even with his rookie year, but in 11 starts I'm hesitant to get that granular; when he got hurt, his peripherals were basically what we expected them to be. No breakout, but certainly not a 4.48 ERA. His xFIP is third on the team-really tied for second, with Lance Lynn-behind only Adam Wainwright.
With the Cardinals jostling for position against the Pirates in the Wild Card standings, Garcia will need to have his velocity up and control in order during the Sunday matinee finale.