Garcia throws simulated game in extended spring training

Garcia throws simulated game in extended spring training

MILWAUKEE -- Left-hander Jaime Garcia threw 44 pitches in 3 1/3 innings during a simulated game on Saturday, general manager John Mozeliak announced. It marked the first time Garcia has simulated a multiple-inning appearance since he threw an 80-pitch simulated game on March 24.

The Cardinals had to halt Garcia's throwing program soon after due to left shoulder soreness. Garcia has been slowly building back arm strength this month in extended spring training and will throw another simulated game on Thursday, during which he'll try to increase his pitch count. He also has a side session scheduled for Monday.

Based on where he is now and where he needs to get in order to be a viable option for the Cardinals, Garcia is still more than a month away from being a potential factor in the Major League rotation. Injuries have limited him to 16 starts since the beginning of the 2013 season.

WORTH NOTING:

Right-hander Keith Butler pitched a scoreless inning out of the Triple-A Memphis bullpen on Friday in what was his first outing since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2014. Butler retired all three batters he faced.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 32 runs the Cardinals have allowed is the fewest in franchise history through the first 15 games. The previous low was 39 in 1963.

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.