The Real Reason Why Jaime Garcia Isn’t Getting Better
Both Jaime Garcia and the Cardinals expressed confusion and surprise after Garcia’s two inning implosion on Tuesday night against the Astros. The medical staff had examined his previously-sore elbow and gave him a clean bill of health (of course, we all know what that means). Prior to the game Garcia told everyone that he felt great.
Two innings later, Garcia headed back to St. Louis for another battery of tests. This time, the examination will look for problems in the shoulder and hip joints. They are very likely to find something, too, given that these problems were accurately predicted in 2008 by someone who studied Garcia’s faulty mechanics.
Chris O’Leary has studied pitching mechanics for years, often using extensive video to support his analysis. In August of 2008 O’Leary published a detailed examination of Garcia’s mechanics.
In his opening analysis, he posted a picture (left) of Garcia in mid-delivery, accompanied by the following prediction:
What I don’t like is how the Glove Side (GS) knee is locked, because this can lead to at least knee and hip and possibly arm problems (emphasis added) by increasing the shock on the system. I also don’t like how Jaime Garcia leaves his Pitching Arm Side (PAS) foot behind on the rubber, because this can stop a pitcher’s hip/shoulder separation short.
It’s curious how O’Leary managed to isolate the hip/shoulder problem inherent in Garcia’s delivery, isn’t it?
Then, O’Leary posts an animated GIF of Garcia’s delivery. After that, O’Leary makes this prescient statement:
I don’t think Jaime Garcia’s elbow problems are a fluke. Like BJ Ryan, I think Jaime Garcia is headed for Tommy John surgery followed a couple of years later by shoulder problems (emphasis added). The bottom line is that Jaime Garcia is not the answer to my Cardinals’ prayers.
Two months after O’Leary posted this article, it was announced that Garcia would undergo Tommy John surgery.
Here’s a disturbing question: if this pitching analyst could accurately predict Garcia’s blown elbow and eventual shoulder/hip problems by examining his delivery on video, how did the Cardinals miss it?
Last July the Cardinals invested a decent amount of money and years in Garcia. Clearly they believed that Garcia was a safe bet for a long term commitment. They came to this conclusion because coaches and medical personnel saw nothing wrong with Garcia’s delivery and the physical ramifications that arise from it. Dave Duncan didn’t see it. Derek Lilliquist didn’t see it. Tony La Russa didn’t see it. John Mozeliak and his team of cyber geeks didn’t see it. None of the trainers saw it, either.
It makes one wonder how the well-paid staff of the St. Louis Cardinals cannot see and correct the problems isolated by some random dude on the internet. It’s tremendously embarrassing for this organization.