Garcia – The X Factor

Many people are wondering if the Cardinal lineup will produce the runs it will inevitably need to this year.  And while there are some question marks there, I feel confident in the lineup we have to put out there every day.  I love Rasmus in the 2 spot.  I think Berkman gets his swing back.  I think Skip is better than a .200 hitter.  I think Theriot finds his way as a leadoff guy.

But the pitching is the big unknown.  Every year, every team wants more pitching it seems.  And the breakout, unknown pitchers of the season are the ones who end up propelling their teams to the postseason.

Every one was excited about the prospect of trotting out Waino, Carp and Garcia out there every week.  And then Wainwright went down.  Wainwright was about as good as guaranteed every five days, so this is a tough situation.

The problem with people being excited about our top 3 is that Garcia is far from guaranteed.  He had a great rookie campaign last year, no doubt.  But now the hitters know him.  And there is absolutely no way to know if he can repeat that success again this year.  And as our number 3, we really needed him to.  But now he’s our number 2.  I have full confidence in Carpenter filling Wainwright’s spot.  He’s been there and done it before.  But Garcia now has to be what Carpenter was going to be.  Guys like Loshe and McClellan have a little more slack as our 4 and 5 guys.  They need to be decent, but they have some margin for error.  Garcia, however, has to be consistently good if we’re going to have any kind of shot at this thing.

He has not shown that potential this spring.  With a posted spring ERA of 7.94 ERA, I am tired of seeing title after title of, “Garcia looks to positives despite horrible performance” or some variation thereof.  I get that the spring is the time to work out the kinks.  I get that it’s about locating pitches more than the end result.  But I haven’t always felt like he’s been locating real well.  And I get that anything is possible until it starts counting.  And that’s why I’m not grabbing my pitchfork yet.  I’m willing to wait it out and see how he does come April.  But I would be lying if I said Garcia doesn’t make me nervous.  Let’s hope he can duplicate last year’s success and help make this a world championship team.

Garcia for the repeat,
Tiffany 

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