A pair on St. Louis Cardinals pitchers trying to make their comebacks from serious injuries got mixed results in their first rehab appearances Sunday in Springfield.
Jaime Garcia pitched two innings against the Tulsa Drillers with three hits and two earned runs allowed before he had to exit. Garcia, who hoped to throw 80 pitches, managed only 28 before he was hit on the elbow by his counterpart during an at-bat.
According to Fox Sports Midwest, an x-ray of the elbow revealed no fractures. But Garcia was sent back to St. Louis for further evaluation. That could be because sometimes it takes a fracture a while to show up on x-rays because of swelling. Or it could be merely a precaution. It makes zero sense to let a pitcher try to work through the pain with this sort of injury because it could potentially alter his mechanics and cause another injury.
Legendary St. Louis pitcher Dizzy Dean's career was ended thanks to trying to come back too soon from a broken toe. His compromised follow through put too much stress on his elbow and Dean permanently damaged his arm.
The news was much better from Springfield regarding Cardinals relieve Jason Motte.
It took Motte 13 pitches to strike out the side in an inning of relief work. Granted, these are Class AA hitters. But Class AA is much stronger in recent years than it was a couple of decades ago. It's proving ground for top prospects with big talent if not a lot of polish. So while these aren't major league hitters, Motte wasn't exactly shooting fish in a barrel.