Garcia throws for first time since June

Garcia throws for first time since June

ST. LOUIS -- Left-hander Jaime Garcia threw on Wednesday for the first time while dealing with impingement in his left shoulder. Garcia, who last pitched in a game on June 5, has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 6.

After playing catch at a distance of about 60 feet and making 40 throws, Garcia said that the shoulder felt great -- much better than it has over the past few weeks.

"It's probably early to get too excited or to talk a lot about what went on today. But I can already tell a big difference," Garcia said on Wednesday. "It's good. I'm really confident that the rehab I'm doing will make a difference. I'm just positive about this whole thing, and I'm working hard, doing everything I can."

"He threw the ball well, looked smooth, fluid," said manager Mike Matheny, who was on hand for the throwing session. "He was going nice and easy, but I think it was a good first step."

Garcia will rest on Thursday and throw again on Friday. From there it will be a gradual progression, bumping up his velocity while he prepares to throw from flat ground. He anticipates being back in the rotation by the first or second week of August.

Garcia is 3-4 with a 4.48 ERA in 11 starts this season. He won 13 games in both 2010 and 2011.