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Garcia a highlight in loss to Marlins

Another day, another spring training loss... another blah performance by one of the Cardinals veteran starters... But another eye opening three innings by a St. Louis pitching prospect Saturday against Florida.

Jaime Garcia, who missed almost all of last season after having Tommy John surgery, threw three frames of relief against the Marlins Saturday and allowed no hits, no runs and only one walk.

True, it's early and there were a lot of players at the plate for the Marlins who probably won't be there a month from now. But so what? It's good experience and better than the alternative of Garcia getting batted around.

During the broadcast John Rooney seemed shocked the Cardinals, who have said they plan to be protective of the 23-year-old starter, was allowed to pitch a third inning this early in the spring. But I still take pitching coach Dave Duncan at his word when he said there is virtually no chance of Garcia winning the job as the club's fifth starter.

The Birds want to see Garcia go to Class AAA Memphis to gain experience, build up his arm and get some innings under his belt before he is thrown into the fires of starting in the majors.