Cardinals make a major roster move

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Cardinals make a major roster move

From Comcast SportsNetWASHINGTON (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals removed Jaime Garcia from their NL division series roster Tuesday, a day after he lasted only two innings in his Game 2 start because of an ailing shoulder.An MRI revealed that the left-hander has a strained rotator cuff and inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He'll be replaced by rookie right-hander Shelby Miller.Garcia's health was a concern after he missed two months this season with shoulder fatigue, but he had pitched well since returning in mid-August and won his last three regular season starts. He said he had experienced some "normal stiffness" from those late-season games, but the feeling in the shoulder was different when took the mound Monday against the Washington Nationals."We're in the playoffs," Garcia said. "I want to be there for my team. I want to be able to help out, but I just realized that once the game started it never got better. I never got warm, and I had to say something. I made the decision. I said something at the right time, and we still won the game. It was a really hard decision for me to say something."The Cardinals' 12-4 victory evened the series at one game apiece, with the series moving to Washington for Game 3 on Wednesday.Manager Mike Matheny dismissed suggestions that Garcia should have spoken up about a possible problem before starting such a crucial game."He went back and forth just like every guy does," Matheny said. "You don't know exactly how you're going to feel until you get out there. There are times you don't feel good, and I know that we have had some pitchers wondering if they can make pitch one, and next thing you know they are standing on top of the mound in the eighth inning."I respect these guys' preparation that they have going into a game, how they push through things, and try and make something out of nothing at times. If you waited around until you felt perfect, you would never play this game."Garcia was scheduled to have a second opinion later Tuesday.Lance Lynn, who pitched three innings in relief and picked up the Game 2 win, will take Garcia's spot in the rotation if the Cardinals advance to the next round.Miller, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, appeared in six games this season as a September call-up. He worked 13 2-3 innings with a 1.32 ERA.

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Eastern Conference foe adds help off the bench with former All-Star point guard

Eastern Conference foe adds help off the bench with former All-Star point guard

The Wizards are in need of an upgrade at point guard position behind John Wall, and now have one less option on the free agent market. To make matters worse, it was an Eastern Conference foe that is adding the former All-Star to bolster their bench.

After months of asking, LeBron has finally gotten his way. The Cavaliers will add Deron Williams, a three-time All-Star, to provide some help off the bench. How much Williams has left in the tank is up for debate, but he satisfies a need for the defending champs.

Williams was waived by the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday and it was widely speculated that he would join the reigning champions to help off the bench.

Williams averaged 13.1 points, 6.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds in just 29.3 minutes per game. 

MORE WIZARDS: Backup point guard continues to be an issue for Wizards

 

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'Better version' of Kelly Oubre required for Wizards to sustain

'Better version' of Kelly Oubre required for Wizards to sustain

The problem with the Wizards' defense is greater than one player, especially after giving up 120 points to the Philadelphia 76ers. But that area is supposed to be the calling card for second-year forward Kelly Oubre, who hasn't been himself in the last five games. 

Oubre not only is shooting just 4-for-20 in that span, but he has slipped in his discipline and focus. The 76ers were able to have their way with the Wizards' perimeter defense but when Oubre came into stop the bleeding it actually got worse. 

"He has to just focus on what he does to our team. If he doesn't do that he's going to struggle," coach Scott Brooks said after Saturday's practice. "You have to focus on the defensive end and staying in front of the ball, not getting lost. I thought he's had some stretches where he's very good at it and he's had some stretches where he has to kind of reboot and refocus on what he does."

At 6-7 and a 7-2 wingspan, Oubre can be the best perimeter defender on the team. He presented a more difficult matchup for LeBron James than Otto Porter. He was able to help hold Isaiah Thomas, a 5-9 point guard, to four points in the fourth quarter.

That wasn' t the player who showed up Friday. Sunday, it'll be the Utah Jazz at Verizon Center. 

"Right now we need a better version of Kelly," Brooks said. "We're going to keep challenging him, keep pushing him. Hopefully he comes back better tomorrow night."

MORE WIZARDS: Eastern Conference foe adds former All-Star to come off the bench