The return of St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia is getting closer as the pitcher will step back on the mound to throw a bullpen session on Saturday.

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“I feel a lot better right now,” shared Garcia, who has been on the disabled list since July 4th due to a groin strain. “A lot of the inflammation has gone down and some of the bruising has gone away. I’ve been playing catch. I’ve been doing all my shoulder stuff–the arm feels really good.”

He has not yet thrown off the mound, but was very confident following his throwing session on Thursday in which his stride was not affected by the groin strain.

“A big test was yesterday–threw a flat ground, which is when I would feel it,” said Garcia. “It was a really good day yesterday, a move in the right direction. I think it’s a really good sign.”

While Garcia is eager to return as soon as possible, may even next week, there remain a few more steps in the plan.

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“Could repeat it Monday-Tuesday, then maybe a live BP by Thursday–so maybe game ready after that, so we’ll just have to see how each event goes but we’re hopeful that he’ll be ready by the early part of the next week,” outlined GM John Mozeliak.

That would give the Cardinals about a week–or potentially one start, for Garcia to return to the rotation before the trade deadline. Likewise, Marco Gonzales his making his third rehab start tonight and is penciled in to be game ready by July 31st. How both of those pitchers perform at least factors into the decision for Mozeliak regarding an addition to the pitching staff.

“Obviously, when you go out and look at getting a starter–who’s he going to replace?” pointed out Mozeliak. “You look at sort of the current four we have going, plus Cooney–they’ve all done a nice job. So for us just to say we’re out on the market looking for starting pitching, I don’t think that’s fair.”


–The St. Louis Cardinals have announced a second date for An Evening with Ozzie and Willie for Tuesday, August 4th. The two legends will take part in a Q&A and share stories from their career while fans enjoy cocktails on the warning track and dinner in the Redbird Club at Busch Stadium.

Tickets for the event begin at $250.

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