Is Hands Off Best For Jaime?
Jaime Garcia has, at times, been one of the best pitchers the St. Louis Cardinals have on staff. At other times, he has been erratic.
It is a subject that has been poured over many times, but Jaime Garcia can go from “lights out” to “nobody’s home” with just a bad call or missed play behind him. The lefty has shown moments of brilliance and moments of complete confusion, sometimes in the same game. Much has been said about it and, behind the scenes, much has been analyzed about it.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has said in interviews that he fully believes that he could have helped prevent the amazing collapse of Rick Ankiel on the mound had he not been hurt and not on the field during the 2000 playoff run. He has stated that earlier in that season, Ankiel had struggled and he was able to bring him back into focus and get through the situation.
Thirteen years later, Jaime Garcia has Matheny for a manager and the two are trying to find the best way to help the pitcher overcome mental lapses and realize his potential on the mound.
During a recent interview, Matheny has revealed that the team will attempt to take some pressure off of Garcia by not looking into every detail of the starter’s games. It seems there is some concern that he tries to adjust his mechanics too often, becoming too much of a perfectionist and getting inside his own head.
“I’m not dissecting everything he’s doing,” Matheny insisted after the win. “I know everybody else likes to right now. I’m just watching him go out there and do his thing. He did a nice job of pitching without reading into every situation that he gets into or out of. … I made a commitment to myself not to microscope him.” –from StlToday.com
Garcia will need to continue to pitch at the level he projects at in 2013 for the Cardinals to remain successful. In addition, with the young talent being developed in the system, Garcia may be pitching to secure a spot on this team in the near future.
Either way, getting Garcia out of his head and into a routine will be a good thing for everyone involved.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
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