Time Heals All Injuries … And Adds A Catcher

There hasn’t exactly been an overflow of news from the Cardinals camp lately. I guess in most cases (and especially after seeing the Marlins/Blue Jays deal that just happened!), this time of year no news is good news!

The Cardinals admittedly have far less on their plate this offseason, compared to last. Slowly but surely, though, we’ll start to get some information about those few missing pieces — both those that we might already have, and those that might come from somewhere else.

Tuesday, we heard mostly positive news about the first group. Perhaps time will heal the injuries that have some of us a teeny bit worried.

Jaime Garcia, who many feared (and continue to fear) would need surgery to repair issues with his left shoulder. The lack of news seemed to indicate that the organization was concerned, too. However, yesterday Garcia threw off the mound at Busch Stadium … and all seemed to go well.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia threw about 25 pitches off the mound at Busch Stadium on Monday and has taken strides toward what the team now expects to be a “normal offseason,” general manager John Mozeliak said.

…”By December he’ll have a normal offseason and in January begin the throwing program for spring,” Mozeliak said. “In everything I heard (from the team medical staff) today, the word surgery never came up.”

Progress is good. Considering what the 2013 starting rotation could look like and what health concerns could keep it from living up to the potential, any of “normal offseason” predictions we can get are certainly good news.

Hearing positive news on Rafael Furcal — a critical piece to the somewhat dicey middle-infield situation — also made for a good Tuesday. Doctors are still leaning towards a rehab without surgery attached for the veteran short stop, though he has yet to throw a baseball since injuring his right elbow late in the season.

Yet another positive rehab report came on the tail end of some less-cheerful news.

Kyle McClellan appears to be right on track for one more “normal offseason,” Cardinals beat writer Jenifer Langosch reports.

McClellan began his throwing program two weeks ago — which was two weeks ahead of schedule. The righty most recently threw long toss at a distance of 90 feet. He’ll continue throwing on flat ground through the end of the month, building up to a distance of 150 feet.

McClellan plans to visit with Cardinals head physician Dr. George Paletta in early December to make sure his arm is still responding well. He’ll take the month of December off and then resume throwing in January.

“It’s going really well,” McClellan said of the rehab process. “Every indication from the rehab staff is that they fully expect me to be healthy in Spring Training, and that’s something I’m excited about because I haven’t been healthy for a year.”

However, a healthy McClellan will be playing Spring ball with a different club for the first time in his career.

The Cardinals released McClellan, who would have been up for arbitration after missing most of the 2012 season.

After meeting Kyle last season and hearing him talk about what it meant to him to have had a career with the Cardinals, I’m sad to see him go. But, he doesn’t exactly have the clearest path to the mound for the upcoming season in St. Louis.

We wish him the best of luck, wherever he may play next!

While not exactly blockbuster news, the Cardinals did make an interesting addition on Tuesday. Veteran catcher Rob Johnson was signed to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training. He spent last season in the Mets organization and already has a history that endears him to us here at AMF: On May 18, 2012, Johnson pitched one scoreless inning against the Blue Jays. (Thanks, Daniel, for bringing that to my attention!)

Scrappy players. We sure do love those types in St. Louis!

And finally, tomorrow we’ll be able to begin the inevitable debates over the National League MVP award.

The announcement will be made at 5:00 p.m. (Central time) on MLB Network.

Good luck to Yadi, who we really do love even if it took a little extra time to get that love letter written


Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.

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