Cardinals invested little in veteran pitchers, but with big rewards | Cardinals of Saint-Louis

Garcia hit the first hitter he faced in the head in Chicago and allowed six runs in an official inning in his first three appearances.

“I was like, ‘Oh, no,’” Mozeliak said. “When you’re a new player at a club, especially when you don’t have a Lester or Happ pedigree, you have to make a good first impression.

“I was definitely nervous inside (about Garcia),” Mozeliak said with a smile. “But he was great.

“The emergence of highly leveraged roles over time has been a benefit of our patience. Rather than reacting instinctively to those early games, we were able to stick with that. Part of that was because we didn’t have a lot of other options. I am grateful that our coaching team supported him. But not only that, it got better.

Lester, despite having the “pedigree”, allowed the first seven men to face him to reach base on his Cardinals debut.

It’s unclear if any of the above will be back next year.

“I’ll be worried about the offseason when we get to the offseason,” said Mozeliak.

The offseason won’t start until after Wednesday at least, but Mozeliak said the Cardinals arrived at their destination “exactly as we planned, in a lot of ways.

“Maximize our defense. Our outfield of (Tyler) O’Neill, Harrison Bader and DC (Dylan Carlson) was kind of what we imagined, but it only really happened at the end of the season, ”said Mozeliak.

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