As Day 2 of Spring Training for the St. Louis Cardinals unfolded, stepping on the mound for his first bullpen of the spring had a bit of a different feel to it for Jaime Garcia.
“I’m not gonna lie to you, yeah it’s a little,” admitted the left-hander on the session being out of the ordinary. “Obviously, you’re coming off a surgery and it’s just like a normal spring training–you come in and first bullpen you throw and you get a little anxious in there but nothing big. Like I said, I’m positive about this thing.”
Surgery to repair a torn labrum nine months ago ended Garcia’s season, but he raised the optimism for his full return when he was able to throw a number of bullpen sessions the end of last year–including batting practice to Allen Craig who was preparing for the postseason. Jaime pitched off the mound a few more times before shutting things down–in usual fashion until beginning his throwing program in December.
Other than doing some training to maintain the strength in his shoulder, Garcia had a normal break and is without restriction this spring.
Garcia threw mainly fastballs, but did mix in a couple of change-ups during his bullpen session.
–Jordan Swagerty also had his first bullpen of the spring–a moment he’s been waiting for since his own surgery (Tommy John) in 2012.
“After not playing for two years, the heart’s beating a little bit–because to me, that’s like a game,” described Swagerty. “I haven’t been able to throw a whole lot in the last couple of years so when you’re finally out there and feeling healthy, you’re ready to go. It’s tough to slow down.”