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Friday, October 19, 2012

Jaime Garcia is making a mistake by delaying surgery

St. Louis Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia has visited with three doctors regarding his ailing shoulder, the latest being the famous Dr. James Andrews.

Andrews finally gave Garcia the answer he wanted to hear.  The doctor told Garcia that it may not be necessary for Garcia to have surgery to fix the impingement that has caused the left-hander enough pain to remove himself from the playoffs.

So, Garcia has told the St. Louis Cardinals that he plans to rehab the shoulder first and then re-evaluate later to decide whether surgery will truly be necessary.  This feels like a curious decision and if you read into general manager John Mozeliak's response further, it does not feel as though the Cardinals are too thrilled.

"To me, it's at least a plan,"  Mozeliak said. "There's nothing that is screaming surgery. Dr. Andrews felt like getting him some rehab to see if he can work through it is fine. And from a medical standpoint, we're fine with that."

Mozeliak is right.  At least it is a plan.  And while Mozeliak goes on to say the organization is "fine with that," underneath they really can not be.

Garcia has been at the center of frustration all season both by his erractic performances and the gentle nature of his health.  There seems to be a line of communication missing between the lefty and the Cardinals coaching staff and front office, especially after what happened in Game Two when Garcia did not inform anyone that his shoulder was injured prior to his start in that crucial game.

Now, Garcia is delaying what feels like an inevitable surgery.  Even if Garcia had surgery now, he would likely lose part of 2013.  But waiting to have the surgery will only make things worst, especially when the Cardinals are on the hook to pay Garcia $22 million precious dollars over the next three seasons.

When you invest that much money into a pitcher, it is costly to have such uncertainty.  Garcia's health is uncertain.  His mental psyche is fragile.  His availability for 2013 is more and more in doubt everyday that Garcia delays the inevitable.

Letting Garcia wait to have surgery is a mistake by the Cardinals.  They are risking not having him available at all in 2013.  They are all risking a complete freefall of any trade value Garcia may have left.

Garcia always seems to frustrate Cardinals fans in the worst way.  Now, with his decision to wait on surgery, Cardinals fans will only be more annoyed.