Garcia Focused on 2013, Carp 2014

While he’s not ready to step back on the mound just yet, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia is excited enough about his shoulder rehabilitation to talk about a return this season.

“I’m not ruling it out,” said a smiling Garcia, who had surgery to repair a tear in his labrum at the end of May with the plan to be fully recovered by spring training.

Garcia is not getting his hopes up or making any bold predictions, but is serious about the goal and is using it as a motivating factor. He is focused on “pitching in October.”

Plyometric training begins next week and, if all continues to goes well, Garcia will be throwing by the end of August. Because of that, the left-hander is motivated on pitching again this season for the Cardinals.

“That would certainly be exciting, but let’s just take baby steps towards that,” said general manager John Mozeliak. “I have heard he’s had a very good rehab to date and I think that’s great.”

While optimism is guiding Garcia, the same cannot be said for Chris Carpenter.

“I think Carp has sort of resigned himself to kind of looking at next year a little bit more,” said Mozeliak. “He’s taking a timeout, but he’s assessing where he is physically and sort of what the next step is. I think it would be a long shot to see anything this year.”

Carpenter will be a free agent the end of this season, but both he and Mozeliak have previously expressed mutual interest in keeping him as part of the organization in the future.