Inbox: Garcia still in Cardinals' plans for 2015?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from St. Louis fans

Inbox: Garcia still in Cardinals' plans for 2015?

ST. LOUIS -- With the season now a little more than a week old, it's time to resurrect the Inbox, which will again be a regular cardinals.com feature this season. Submit questions through the link below, and keep in mind that I will also periodically answer fan questions on MLB Network's MLB Now program. Only questions submitted along with your name and hometown will be considered.

What is Jaime Garcia up to in his rehab?
-- Justin H., Little Rock, Ark.

Garcia remains in Jupiter, Fla., where he is pitching in the Cardinals' extended spring camp. He threw a bullpen session on Sunday, has another scheduled for Wednesday and is expected to throw to hitters in a live batting-practice session on Friday. If all continues to go well, Garcia will then move toward clearance to pitch in an extended spring game or as part of a Minor League rehab assignment.

The challenge for Garcia will come when he starts to extend himself for lengthy appearances. Since last summer's thoracic outlet surgery, the left-hander has not yet shown an ability to handle a starter's load. If Garcia can't do so, the Cards will have to re-evaluate his potential fit on the 2015 club.

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How many more chances does Randy Choate have in the bullpen regarding his recent struggles?
-- Austin S., New York

Let's give the guy a break and perhaps not jump to any conclusions with a sample size of three -- the number of batters Choate has faced this year. That's not even enough data points to establish a trend. Sure, Choate has allowed two of the three batters he has faced to reach base. Both times it was Joey Votto who got to him, first with a single, then by drawing a walk. Choate retired Adam Lind on Monday.

Cards use five relievers in win

But don't forget that Choate, the team's left-on-left specialist, had terrific results last season when used against left-handed batters. He limited them to a .093/.205/.147 slash line over 75 appearances. That seems like someone who could be an asset in the Cards' bullpen, even if Choate's first showdowns with Votto didn't go as desired.

At Spring Training, I was very impressed with the backup infielders. What is long-term ceiling for Jacob Wilson and Ty Kelly? They both hit well and played excellent defense in Florida. Are they the first two up if anyone falters, or injuries occur?
-- Don V., California, Mo.

Wilson and Kelly are both a part of the organization's infield depth that the Cardinals believe to be fairly strong. Wilson has come up through the system and had one of the standout springs among the team's position players. He is a steady defender at second and third, and he may also look to expand his versatility with some shortstop work in Double-A.

Kelly begins the year in Triple-A, where you will see him play all over the field, including some outfield. His excellent plate discipline was on display this spring, and he stands right now to be the first one summoned should the Cards need some help at the big league level. Wilson likely has the higher ceiling of the two, but Kelly can offer the sort of versatility that could make him an asset off the bench down the road.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.