07/21/12 7:42 PM ET
Garcia off to Florida after positive bullpen session
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
Saturday's mound session was the third for Garcia, who has been sidelined since June 6 with a left shoulder impingement. He again threw 40 pitches, though this time he also mixed in offspeed offerings. Afterward, Garcia's assessment -- both of his health and pitch crispness -- was positive.
"It felt pretty good," Garcia said. "My arm feels good. I feel like the ball is coming out pretty good. It's a matter of kind of getting your timing where it needs to be, but I was pleased with the timing and the location. Everything is pretty good."
General manager John Mozeliak estimated that Garcia will throw side sessions, live batting practice and/or simulated games for about 10-14 days before officially beginning a Minor League rehab assignment. In addition to ensuring that he regains the feel for all of his pitches, Garcia also has to prepare his arm to handle the workload of a starter.
Mozeliak estimated that Garcia could be ready to return to the Cardinals' rotation around Aug. 12
"I'm really positive about this thing," Garcia said. "I told them that if everything is going good and feeling good, there's no reason for us to stay here and keep throwing bullpens."
Reliever Fuentes promoted to Double-A
ST. LOUIS -- Lefty reliever Brian Fuentes is set to join Double-A Springfield after making another scoreless appearance for the Cardinals' Gulf Coast League affiliate on Saturday.
Fuentes leaves Florida having made two GCL appearances. He allowed one hit in a scoreless inning on Friday and retired the side in order in his inning on Saturday.
Fuentes signed a Minor League contract with the Cardinals a week ago, knowing that the organization would have him spend some time in the Minors to shake off rust and tweak his mechanics. Previous to these two outings, Fuentes' last appearance was on June 30, shortly before the A's designated him for assignment.
General manager John Mozeliak said that Fuentes is scheduled to take the mound next on Monday. He'll then get at least one day off before pitching again on back-to-back days.
The Cardinals can keep Fuentes in the Minors only until July 31. If he is not put on the roster by the end of the month, Fuentes can trigger an opt-out clause and become a free agent.
With his start on Saturday, Lance Berkman made back-to-back starts for the first time since returning from the disabled list a week ago. Playing a part in manager Mike Matheny's decision to start Berkman on two consecutive nights was the status of Allen Craig.
Craig is dealing with some quad soreness, which, while not believed to be serious, prompted the Cardinals to find a way to give him the night off. Craig is available to pinch-hit on Saturday, if needed.
After batting in the bottom third of the lineup on Friday, shortstop Rafael Furcal returned to his regular leadoff spot on Saturday. Furcal had two hits while batting from the eight-hole on Friday. His 37 RBIs from the leadoff spot are a National League best.
Outfield prospect Oscar Taveras pushed his Double-A RBI total to 70 with a key two-run double in Springfield's 6-3 victory on Friday. Reliever Kevin Thomas earned the win in the game after allowing one run in 4 1/3 innings.
The Cardinals' Aug. 5 home game against the Brewers has been picked up by ESPN, which will feature it as the network's Sunday Night game. First pitch has been moved to 7 p.m. CT.
The organization has granted right-hander Brian Broderick his unconditional release. Broderick, a former 2007 Draft pick who was returned as a Rule 5 selection by Washington last year, was 3-8 with a 7.32 ERA in 20 games (14 starts) for Triple-A Memphis this season.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.