Garcia to miss four weeks with shoulder injury

Garcia to miss four weeks with shoulder injury

ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia didn't know what was wrong. But he knew something was wrong.

"I wasn't able to be consistent on the mound," he said on Saturday afternoon. "I couldn't find any consistency with my mechanics and my arm slot. I don't think it's in my head, because I've always worked really hard. ... I knew my head was in the right spot. I was battling through something but I was going out there and trying to give the team a chance to win. That's when I decided to get it checked out. Maybe there's something wrong and there was something wrong."

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said on Friday that Garcia would be shut down for four weeks to rest and go through shoulder therapy.

The 25-year-old lefty is 3-4 with a 4.48 earned-run average in 11 starts this season. He went 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA in 28 starts in 2010 and was 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 32 starts a year ago.

"This season has been tough because it hasn't been hurting," he said. "If it would have been hurting I would have said something about my shoulder. It's been a weird feeling in there. If I had to say something, it's like weak and tight in there. I've tried strengthening my shoulder with exercises and lifting and all that stuff and it seems like nothing was helping, because the problem was inside the shoulder, not so much on the outside."

Garcia met with the Cardinals medical staff, including Dr. George Paletta, and then traveled to California to visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum. The two doctors concluded that whatever was wrong could be helped by rest and rehab.

"They did an MRI last year and they saw my shoulder was fine and then this year it's different," he said. "There is a tear in the rotator cuff or something like that, but they both believe that rehabbing should make things back to normal, back to the way they work. Basically there's some tightness in my shoulder and that's what's causing my shoulder not to work they way it should. They both believe that by doing the little things that I used to do when I rehabbed my elbow -- stretching and strengthening the small muscles in the shoulder -- is going to help me a lot, get my velocity back and my strength back."

Garcia has had mixed results this season. He allowed one earned run on nine hits and struck out nine batters over 7 1/3 innings in a win at San Francisco on May 16 and then followed that up with two earned runs on seven hits over seven innings in his next start against the Padres.

But then he allowed four runs on six hits over six innings in a loss to Philadelphia on May 26 and allowed six earned runs on five hits in two innings in Houston the next time out.

"I saw two starts not too long ago that were really impressive," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "The one in San Francisco I thought was a great start. He had a rhythm about himself and a disposition on the mound that looked as good as you could ever want. If he could keep doing that I would have been fine. When you know something's off, you're off. That can lead to bigger and worse things. We need him to figure it out."

Garcia said that he would also visit Dr. James Andrews on Monday, though he later amended that statement to say he wasn't sure he would and was more like 50/50 on whether or not he would make that visit.