Garcia excited to start Cardinals' home opener

Garcia excited to start Cardinals' home opener

PHOENIX -- The Cardinals' decision to have Shelby Miller pitch against the Giants next weekend lines up lefty Jaime Garcia to pitch the team's home opener on April 8. The assignment is a first for Garcia, who has never before started a season opener at home or on the road.

"A few days ago, they told me there was a good chance I'd be starting that last game in San Francisco or the first game at home," said Garcia, who will make his season debut Tuesday against Arizona. "I said whatever decision was fine with me. But now that I know I'll be starting the home opener, it's pretty cool. I've been part of four Opening Days at home now, and that first game at home is always exciting. It's an honor for me to be able to do that."

Having entered spring with some still wondering about the durability of his left shoulder, Garcia hushed such concerns with a stellar run through Grapefruit League play. He led all Cardinals pitchers with 29 innings and allowed only eight earned runs on 28 hits.

Garcia was limited to 20 starts and 121 2/3 innings in 2012 due to left shoulder discomfort. The injury resurfaced in October, too, forcing Garcia out of the Cardinals' playoff run.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.