NEW YORK -- Jaime Garcia's availability to start on Tuesday is in question as the Cardinals continue to determine exactly how much rest the left-hander needs in order to alleviate left elbow discomfort.
Initially scheduled to start Friday's series opener against the Mets, Garcia had his start pushed back after alerting the club of some soreness in his left elbow on Monday. That was two days after Garcia allowed six hits, four earned runs and two walks in a six-inning start against Philadelphia.
Garcia returned to St. Louis for an MRI, which, on Wednesday, revealed no structural damage. Now, the concern is whether Garcia will get a sufficient amount of rest if he has to prepare to pitch on Tuesday.
"No. We're just optimistic that that could happen," manager Mike Matheny said when asked if Garcia was certain to pitch Tuesday. "We've had some mixed opinions on how much rest needs to happen. With too much rest, it doesn't give you an opportunity to prepare for your next start. That's the only area that we need to get sorted out."
Garcia is still in St. Louis, and Matheny said the organization is still working through the process of determining when he will meet back up with the club.
The Cardinals have already considered a Plan B should Garcia not be able to go on Tuesday. That would likely have to involve someone from the Triple-A rotation making a spot start, as the Cardinals don't have a starting candidate in their current bullpen who could step in.