5/29/2013 8:10 P.M. ET
Garcia nearing start of his rehab program
By Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia, who underwent surgery on his left shoulder last Friday, will begin his rehab program soon. And although he won't set a target date for his return, the Cardinals left-hander is optimistic that he'll make a successful recovery.
Garcia pitched in nine games this season before pain from a tear in his labrum and rotator cuff -- which first began bothering him a year ago -- pushed him toward season-ending surgery to repair it.
"It was one of those things, where I was willing to have a little pain here and there and just not be 100 percent normal, but willing to pitch with that," Garcia said. "And I knew that was going to be the case until I got to a point where I couldn't do it anymore."
In addition to the pain, Garcia's velocity had gone down over the last year-and-a-half, with his fastball falling from about 91-94 mph to 85 at times this season.
"What's the worst thing that can happen when I come back from surgery? That I don't throw 93-94 [mph] again?" Garcia said. "I'm used to pitching with that. That it's going to be sore? It's been sore for the last two years. I don't want to get ahead and talk [about the] future, but it's something that I've been dealing with. It's not like I'm 37 years old and toward the end of my career. I'm in the beginning and I know that it's going to get better."
Carpenter enjoys positive throwing session
ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter estimated that he threw about 25 to 30 pitches off the mound on Wednesday afternoon and said afterward that he felt "real good" about the result.
Carpenter was initially supposed to face hitters on Tuesday for the first time in his shoulder rehab, but chose to slow down his throwing program after experiencing some fatigue following a bullpen session last Thursday. As a result, he will continue to build up strength in his arm by throwing bullpen sessions for a while longer.
"I don't know if I was going too fast or if it was the so-called dead arm," said Carpenter, who has been on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury all season. "I want to get back and I want to pitch, but I also have to make sure I do it the right way, because if we do push it too fast or do something that affects the nerve or whatever is going on, it could be a setback that ends up not letting me pitch at all."
Carpenter was unsure when he would get on the mound next, though he's typically been throwing his side sessions two-or-three days apart.
Jake Westbrook will get a better feel for how close he is to leaving on a rehab assignment once he throws on Thursday. After throwing 40 pitches off the mound on Monday, Westbrook said he will throw a longer, more intense session this next time.
"My arm is feeling pretty good," Westbrook said, "so I'm excited about that."
Westbrook, who went on the DL on May 9 with right elbow inflammation, said that he expects he'll need at least two to three starts in the Minor Leagues before he'd be ready to return to the Major League rotation.
As for Fernando Salas (right shoulder inflammation), there is still no scheduled date as to when he will resume playing catch. Salas has not thrown since making a relief appearance on May 21. He has since had a cortisone shot to relieve inflammation.
Cards holding workouts in advance of Draft
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals have scheduled a pre-Draft workout at Busch Stadium next Tuesday, during which the organization will work out close to 20 players that they have scouted heavily in advance of next week's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
St. Louis is one of five Major League teams that will make at least two first-round selections. The club will chose 19th overall (the same pick the organization used to take Michael Wacha last year) and again at No. 28. That second pick was obtained as compensation for Kyle Lohse's free-agent departure.
The Cardinals made five picks in the first round and compensation portion of the Draft last year. In advance of those selections, the Cardinals hosted about 30 players during a pre-Draft workout.
The Cardinals have been given a Draft pool of $6.9079 million to use in signing any of the 11 players they select in the first 10 rounds. That figure was determined by Major League Baseball, which assigns each pick a "slot" value. The 19th pick has a value of $2,055,800 million, while the 28th pick is at $1,785,300 million.
Teams can be penalized financially and have future Draft picks taken away by spending more than its allotted money on signing bonuses. Players picked after the first 10 rounds do not count against this pool of money unless they receive a signing bonus over $100,000. In that case, any amount paid in excess of $100,000 will be subtracted from the total pool.
The Draft is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, June 6, and will be televised on MLB Network and MLB.com. The selection process will last for a three-day period.
• Right-hander Carlos Martinez made his Triple-A debut on Tuesday, one day after the Cardinals unplugged him from the Major League bullpen in order to build him back up as a starter. Martinez threw 43 pitches (25 strikes) over three scoreless innings. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out four. When Martinez was called up to the Majors in early May, he was pitching in the Double-A rotation.
• Out since May 12 with a right ankle injury, outfielder Oscar Taveras has been placed on the seven-day Triple-A disabled list. He will be eligible to come off as early as Saturday. Taveras was not initially expected to be sidelined this long from the injury. He continues to test his ankle through agility drills and running.
• Taveras' move to the DL opened up a roster spot in Memphis for outfielder Chris Swauger to be promoted from Double-A. In 47 games with Springfield, Swauger hit .279 with 12 extra-base hits.
• The Cardinals' home game against the Rangers on June 23 has been selected as ESPN's Sunday Night Game of the Week. As a result, the start time has been pushed back to 7 p.m. CT. This will be the third Sunday night game the Cardinals will play in a six-week period.
• Sunday's game against the Giants has also been chosen for a national telecast. TBS will televise the game outside the Fox Sports Midwest market. First pitch is still scheduled for 1:15 p.m. CT.
• The Cardinals have announced a pair of social media initiatives designed to promote voting for the All-Star Game. An Instagram-based promotion titled 'gram the ballot box will give fans the chance to have their photo on the Busch Stadium scoreboard in place of the player for whom they cast an All-Star vote. Fans can submit their photos by following the team on Instagram (@cardinals) and posting the photo with two hashtags -- #VoteSTL and the designated All-Star hashtag for a player.
The Cardinals will also retweet campaign videos that fans create using the Vine application. The hashtags #VoteSTL and #VinetheVote must be included when the Vine video is tweeted in order to be considered.
• The Cardinals will hold a Social Media Night at Busch Stadium on Tuesday. For $25, fans will get a ticket to sit in the left-field porch and will get access to a pregame question-and-answer session with Cardinals players who use social media. For more details on the Social Media Night events and/or to purchase tickets, go to cardinals.com/socialmedianight.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.