2/11 Garza eager to pitch

Matt Garza feels he’s right on schedule for Spring Training but what happens beyond this season for the right-hander, who will be a free agent, is not something he’s worried about.

“My goal is to go out there and pitch and prove I’m healthy enough and make them want me to stay,” Garza said Monday. “That’s my job. Right now, there’s all the questions — ‘How’s he going to come back? How’s he going to rebound?’ Those are legitimate questions.

“I haven’t thrown off the mound competitively for two months,” he said. “Now I’m feeling great and having great bullpens and excited to be pitching. All I know is April 1 is game one and I want to be there.”

Garza hasn’t pitched since July 21. He was shut down after that because of problems with his right elbow, the cause of which is still baffling. Doctors told him he needed rest. Garza then spent the offseason getting everything in shape, and that, he said, includes “every little muscle, every toe muscle, every finger muscle.”

“That was my goal this offseason to make sure everything was in shape,” Garza said. “I feel great and I feel I’m in a great state of mind, great shape, and I’m glad to be back on the mound.”

He’s used to being the subject of trade rumors.

“My name’s popped up every year of my professional career,” he said. “It’s all the same to me. I’m just happy to be back pitching. Yeah, it’s a big year. It doesn’t matter — if we win, we all win. We get to October, that’s the only thing I play for is to get to October.”

Garza, who was 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts last season with the Cubs, has had no problems in early workouts at Fitch Park. He’s already throwing 45 pitches in bullpen sessions, working on fastball command.

— Carrie Muskat


Matt Garza – I applaud you! Sounds like you have worked VERY HARD to regain your health this year and it sounds like you have succeeded. Your enthusiasm for the game of baseball and for your team, the Cubs, is contagious. I am looking forward to April 1st and to your being a part of the pitching crew.

Yes White! I think he will work hard! Hopefully!

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