3/6 Chatty Garza to make 1st start

Matt Garza makes his first spring start on Tuesday, and the right-hander has already made an impression on Dale Sveum.

“He’s one of the more talkative players,” Sveum said. “He comes into the office and talks, sits down. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well.”

Garza apparently stops by the manager’s office just to chat.

“He’s actually asked, ‘Hey, how are things going? How do you like this stuff?'” Sveum said. “He’s not afraid. It’s refreshing. That’s what you want out of your players, not to feel afraid to come into the manager’s office and B.S., no matter what it is, whether it’s an issue or just to B.S. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Garza is very vocal on days he’s not pitching. He’s always at the top step of the Cubs dugout, cheering on his teammates.

“I have no problem with that,” Sveum said. “That’s part of the game. You don’t restrain that kind of stuff. You don’t let it get out of hand or anything but David Cone was like that and it was kind of entertaining sometimes. The four days David Cone didn’t pitch were probably the most entertaining days of all. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s actually appreciated to show a guy is concerned that much te four days he doesn’t pitch.”

Garza is coming off a 10-10 season in his first year with the Cubs. He was a tough luck pitcher, leaving games with a lead seven times but not factoring in the decision.

“He’s a huge piece — the personality, the work ethic, he cares so much about winning,” Sveum said. “That’s a huge asset to have is one of your best pitchers, if not your best pitcher, to care that much on the four days he doesn’t pitch and the work ethic, the example he sets, and how hard he works and competes on the mound is a huge asset to have in your organization.”

— Carrie Muskat

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