10/25/12 4:33 PM ET
Surgery not likely for Garcia, Furcal
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
Garcia, after receiving multiple opinions on his ailing left shoulder, has begun a rest and rehab program to address his rotator cuff strain. He is expected to have that shoulder re-evaluated in another week or two, but early signs are that the lefty will not need surgery.
The Cardinals, while pleased that Garcia should be able to avoid an invasive procedure, are aware that there is no guarantee the issue doesn't arise again next year. The club does feel confident about the number of internal options available should Garcia not be ready to begin the season in the rotation.
"Clearly, we're going to go into Spring Training holding our breath a little bit with regard to him," Mozeliak said. "But he's progressing right now in his rehab. He's feeling good about that, which is encouraging. But until you really have to ramp it up and put yourself on the mound, it's hard to know for sure."
Furcal still has not thrown since injuring his right elbow in late August. He is expected to begin a throwing program in November and will slowly build his arm strength back up so that he will not be limited when he reports to camp in February. Furcal, who signed a two-year deal last offseason, is set to earn $7 million next year.
"He has a few hurdles to hop before the calendar turns to December," Mozeliak said of Furcal. "That should give us a better idea."
Miller won't return as Cards bullpen coach
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals announced on Thursday that bullpen coach Dyar Miller, a long-time member of the organization, will not be retained on manager Mike Matheny's coaching staff. All other coaches from Matheny's staff have been offered the opportunity to return in 2013.
It was not immediately known if any of the coaches would decline that offer.
Both general manager John Mozeliak and Matheny said on Thursday that they hope Miller's replacement will come from within the organization. No specific reason was given for Miller's dismissal.
"Just from a standpoint of when we were putting the coaching staff together last year, we were doing it quickly and Dyar deserved that opportunity," Mozeliak said. "But when we look at this long-term, we want Mike to be able to put his fingerprints on it as well."
Miller joined Matheny's staff in January, after Derek Lilliquist moved into the role of pitching coach. Though it was Miller's first season on the Major League coaching staff, the 66-year-old worked in the Cardinals organization for 20 years. Before serving as the Cardinals' bullpen coach, Miller spent four years as the organization's Minor League pitching coordinator.
The Cardinals' internal search for a replacement will likely include Brent Strom (Minor League pitching coordinator), Blaise Ilsley (Triple-A Memphis pitching coach) and Bryan Eversgerd (Double-A Springfield pitching coach).
"We were excited to have Dyar with us and are happy to give another person an opportunity, hopefully a guy within the organization," Matheny said. "I know there are some talented people and there's an opportunity to give them exposure to what's going on here. It's just going to be whoever fits the best."
Cards not expected to re-sign Lohse, Berkman
ST. LOUIS -- Though not officially closing the door to negotiating with either, general manager John Mozeliak gave no indication that the Cardinals will pursue free-agents-to-be Lance Berkman and Kyle Lohse.
Berkman and Lohse are the only two players on the club's roster set to enter free agency upon the conclusion of the World Series.
It's little surprise that the Cardinals intend to move on without both veterans. The Cardinals have the pitching depth, particularly with the emergence of several young pitchers, to weather the departure of Lohse, who went 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA in the final year of a four-year contract with St. Louis.
"Kyle had just a brilliant year for us," Mozeliak said. "I suspect the free-agent market would treat him very kindly. You can see the depth that we have coming. [Pursuing Lohse] is not something I'm prepared to rule out today, but I would say it's unlikely at this time."
Injuries hampered Berkman's ability to ever get going in 2012, a season in which he was limited to only 81 at-bats. Though Berkman said he doesn't expect his surgically repaired knees to hold him back in 2013, the Cardinals really don't have a spot for him even if he were to return with a clean bill of health.
With Carlos Beltran set to be the team's starting right fielder, the Cards plan to keep Allen Craig as their everyday first baseman. That leaves St. Louis with little to offer Berkman aside from a spot on the bench.
"I would certainly say that I have not sat down with him to talk about it," Mozeliak said. "I don't know what his expectations are or what he would envision his role being. But clearly, getting everyday at-bats with the St. Louis Cardinals would be very remote. He has to determine what he wants to do."
Though the organization termed his departure this year as a "leave of absence," former pitching coach Dave Duncan will not be returning to the organization, general manager John Mozeliak confirmed on Thursday. Duncan stepped aside from his position in January in order to attend to his wife, Jeanine, who is recovering from a brain tumor. At the time, a door was left open for Duncan's potential return.
Said Mozeliak of the job Derek Lilliquist did in stepping in for Duncan this season: "They're obviously different people, but I think Lilli did an excellent job."
Outfielder Jon Jay missed reaching "Super Two" status by five days, meaning that he won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season. The service time required to be a "Super Two" player -- meaning that player gets an extra/early year of arbitration eligibility -- is two years, 139 days this season. That figure was calculated by finding the top 22 percent of players with more than two years service time but less than three.
Jay's service time hit two years, 134 days at the end of the season.
Matt Carpenter was sent home to Texas with the directive of working at second base this offseason. Carpenter made himself more versatile with the winter work he did last year and could push himself into the mix for a starting job at second base in 2013 if he can pick up the position over the next few months.
The Cardinals are scheduled to hold organizational meetings next week, during which they'll lay the groundwork for offseason priorities and goals.
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.