Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’
Cubs pitcher Matt Garza, who has been sidelined since Feb. 17 with a strained left lat, is still experiencing some lingering mild tightness and has been shut down for one week, and most likely will miss the first month of the regular season. The Cubs athletic trainers are not calling this a setback but say it’s part of the evaluation process.
Not having Garza or Scott Baker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, means Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva are now in the Cubs rotation. Speaking of the rotation, Dale Sveum officially named Jeff Samardzija as the Opening Day starter. More on that later.
Garza had spent the offseason rehabbing from elbow problems which forced him to miss the last 2 1/2 months of the season. His elbow has been fine. He felt soreness in his lat halfway through a live BP session.
“He’s pretty down about it,” Sveum said of the latest news. “He was obviously looking forward to it going well and it didn’t go so well. He’s pretty down right now about it.”
Garza played catch on Saturday and they tried to pick up the intensity. That’s when he felt some discomfort. Lat injuries can linger but Sveum said this isn’t as serious as some which hurt when you sneeze or laugh.
“It’s just to the point where he’s just not ready to throw a baseball yet,” Sveum said. “It’s not torn or real bad. It’s just not quite ready to throw. It’s not a setback, it didn’t get worse, it’s just not ready — it’s like an evaluation process. Obviously, the evaluation was that he’s not ready to step up any extra intensity throwing.”
Having Wood and Villanueva as options certainly helps. The Cubs didn’t have that kind of depth last year.
“That’s the nice thing about the depth we bring in, to be able to fill those two spots,” Sveum said. “We pretty much knew Baker would be the middle of April. We weren’t quite sure how the elbow would respond from Garza and that was going really well. Now we have this minor setback that obviously could turn into missing two weeks to a possible month.”
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza, who has been sidelined since Feb. 17 with a strained left lat, played catch for the second time since he was injured, and could be back on the mound in a week. But Dale Sveum says the right-hander most likely will not be ready for the opening week of the regular season.
Garza will take Sunday off after his throwing session Saturday, then have another long toss session on Monday, Sveum said. The right-hander missed the last 2 1/2 months of last season because of an elbow injury.
“He didn’t lose a lot of time as far as what he’d already built up,” Sveum said. “It wasn’t like [he missed] four weeks or something like that to where now you have to build everything back up.”
The Cubs will have a better idea as to Garza’s schedule once he starts throwing off the mound.
“It’ll depend on him,” Sveum said. “Because he’s so strong and he was basically at or even ahead of what he normally is in Spring Training when he [was injured], it’s kind of a wait and see with what happens in the first two [throwing sessions] and how his arm responds to the second time he gets in the game when it’s the 50 to 60 pitch mark, like [Jeff] Samardzija had Friday.”
“All this stuff is such a wait and see,” Sveum said. “I’m not going to lie, [having Garza pitch in] that opening series is probably a longshot.”
* Scott Baker, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, also is projected to be ready in mid April. Baker had his second live batting practice session on Friday.
“He said he felt way better this time the day after [he threw] than the day after he threw live BP four or five days ago,” Sveum said.
The plan is for Baker to have one more live BP session, then pitch in a simulated game before he’s ready for a Cactus League game.
– Carrie Muskat
* So far, Rule 5 pick Hector Rondon has looked sharp in his two outings. The right-hander has given up one hit and struck out two over two innings.
“I feel really good,” Rondon said.
“That was pretty nice,” Dale Sveum said of Rondon’s outing on Thursday against the Athletics. “The ball was coming out of his hand pretty well. He threw a couple real good sliders, and I didn’t know he had that good of one and he threw one with a lot of tilt on it. With health, that might be a pretty good steal.”
Rondon, who was the Indians’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009, has been slowed by two elbow injuries.
“He has legitimate stuff,” Sveum said. “[Thursday], he was 92, 93 [mph] with a good slider, he threw strikes. He’s always been a strike thrower. That’s nice to have in your back pocket. The guy’s always been a strike thrower and now that he’s completely healthy — the only kicker is we have to get him to be able to throw two innings.”
They want the right-hander to be able to throw two innings before Spring Training ends.
* Jorge Soler threw a perfect strike to third to get A’s Josh Reddick on Thursday. That’s the kind of play Sveum wants to see this spring.
“That was a very impressive throw, accurate, too,” Sveum said. “All the throws — he doesn’t just have a good arm but an accurate arm. That’s an added plus to a guy with the tools. A lot of time you have the arm but it’s all over the place. He’s got a good feel for accuracy. Even his at-bats — I know he’s striking out a little bit but he’s seeing pitches. It’s not a premeditated type swing.”
* Soler still needs to play in the Minor Leagues and develop his skills. He’s not in the mix for the big league team this year but Sveum said the Cubs will likely take five outfielders when they break camp. Also expect to see Steve Clevenger at first base once Anthony Rizzo leaves to join Team Italy for the World Baseball Classic. Clevenger could make the final 25-man roster as an extra catcher/backup first baseman/left-handed bat/pinch-run option.
“He puts himself in the mix,” Sveum said of Clevenger, who will start at first on Saturday against the Giants. “If you can have that third catcher to where you can pinch run and not worry about the other catcher getting hurt, that obviously comes into the mix. It all depends on what happens at third base — a lot of these decisions.”
The Cubs are waiting to see if Ian Stewart will be healthy for the season. If not, Luis Valbuena, who is a utility option, most likely will start at third.
Brent Lillibridge is a versatile player who gives the Cubs someone who can play everywhere. Sveum didn’t want to say Lillibridge was set on making the 25-man roster but did say it’s “definitely a strong possibility.” Lillibridge is a non-roster invitee in camp.
* Starlin Castro, who felt some tightness in his left hamstring on Wednesday, wasn’t expected back in the Cubs lineup until Monday.
* Matt Garza, who has been sidelined with a strained left lat, will resume his throwing on Saturday.
* Dontrelle Willis, who came out of a game because of fatigue in his left shoulder, is pain free and has resumed throwing in the Minor League camp.
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza will play catch Thursday, which may not sound like much, but it is. The right-hander has not thrown since Feb. 17 because of a strained left lat.
“This is the first step to being ready to start pitching,” Garza said. “I’m not going to rush this thing.”
The Cubs felt Garza could be ready by Opening Day but he’s not going to push it.
“If I try to rush and be ready April 1, I might be re-injured in June, and be out,” he said. “If I take my time, maybe I’m pitching April 15 through October, maybe November.”
The good news is that his arm feels great. He missed the final 2 1/2 months of last season because of elbow problems.
“There’s no concern there — it’s just caution,” Garza said of his arm. “I’m just going to take my time and be easy with it and make sure it’s nice and free flowing. if there’s any snag, then speak up. This is a time where a guy like me, I love being out there. I’ve got to swallow my pride and put the team first.”
Garza, who said he felt like a caged animal during his offseason rehab, said he’s very eager to throw.
“It’s more anxiety — I feel left behind,” he said. “I’m not out there. That’s what sucks. Injuries happen, and if I speed it up, it could happen again. I’d rather take my time with it and chomp at the bit a little longer than having to chomp at the bit for six weeks than 10 to 12 days.”
He had six bullpen sessions before the live BP session that he cut short.
“It’s kind of like I took a two-week vacation,” he said of the time off. “I haven’t had one so maybe that’s why it happened.”
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza, sidelined one week because of a strained left lat, could start throwing this week and Cubs manager Dale Sveum feels the right-hander still has enough time left to be ready for the beginning of the season. Garza ended his live batting practice session after 20 pitches because of soreness in his side on Feb. 17.
“Today, he said he felt really good,” Sveum said Monday. “It seems like every day he’s getting better and better.”
If Garza does start throwing this week, he would have about five weeks to build up innings for the season.
“Obviously, it’ll be close but it looks like it probably can happen if he gets back tossing in the next few days or so,” Sveum said.
Garza could still contend for the Opening Day assignment. Sveum said he’ll most likely announce who gets the April 1 start by March 20, possibly sooner.
“If he’s capable of tossing here in a few days then I don’t see why he wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day,” Sveum said.
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza has yet to resume baseball activities and Edwin Jackson won’t make his first Cactus League start until Tuesday. Jeff Samardzija wants everyone healthy and competing before Cubs manager Dale Sveum picks his Opening Day starter.
“I haven’t had that conversation at all,” Samardzija said Sunday after his first Cactus League start. “We’re still waiting to see what happens with ‘Garz’ and how he comes along. They know where I stand on it and how I feel.
“It’s nice to have a few guys who are capable of doing it,” he said. “Hopefully, it gets decided on the field instead of the training room. It’s more important to have ‘Garz’ ready for one of those first five games than rush him along. He’s a key part to this team and we all know that. It’s more important that he’s ready for Opening Day than start one or two here in Spring Training.”
Garza is sidelined with a strained left lat, suffered Feb. 17 during his live batting practice session. He has yet to resume baseball activities.
Samardzija, who gave up one run on three hits over two innings against the Giants on Sunday, wants the Opening Day assignment.
“It’s good as an athlete to see your hard work pay off,” Samardzija said. “Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to. All these dudes in this locker room, everybody works their tail off to be as good as they want to be. When you start getting results like I had last year and things like this, it starts to snowball. I want to keep that good momentum going and we’ll see what happens.”
– Carrie Muskat
Scott Hairston, Logan Watkins, Ian Stewart and Anthony Rizzo advanced in Thursday’s first-round bunt tournament matches for the position players. Among the pitchers, Scott Baker, Chris Rusin and Hisanori Takahashi moved on. Matt Garza’s match vs. Zach Putnam was delayed. Garza is sidelined with a strained lat, and so far, has a medical exemption. After Thursday’s intrasquad game, Dale Sveum said strength coach Tim Buss would sub for Garza in the tourney. Buss was the other finalist in the front office round.
Watkins totaled 670 points with an impressive display, and Sveum dubbed him “the DeJesus of this year.” David DeJesus won the inaugural event last year.
Here are Friday’s first-round matchups:
David DeJesus vs. Jorge Soler
Darwin Barney vs. Junior Lake
Starlin Castro vs. Matt Szczur
Alfonso Soriano vs. Rafael Lopez
Casey Coleman vs. Barret Loux
Shawn Camp vs. Robert Whitenack
Edwin Jackson vs. Trey McNutt
Carlos Marmol vs. Nick Struck
Strength coach Tim Buss vs. Zach Putnam
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza, sidelined with a strained left lat, is making progress in his rehab. He had ended a scheduled 40-pitch throwing session after 20 pitches because of discomfort in his left side. He’s getting treatment and has yet to resume baseball activities.
“Right now, I just want to get ready to throw, get ready to start pitching for opening week and that’s where my timeline’s at,” said Garza, a candidate for Opening Day along with Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson. “Spring starts — of course, they matter — but I’m more concerned about being ready by Opening Day.”
Garza arrived in camp feeling strong after missing more than two months of last season because of a sore right elbow that shut him down after his July 21 start.
“Maybe that’s what it was — maybe I came out too strong, too fast,” he said. “It is what it is, and now it’s time to get back to work.”
Spring Training camps opened a few days early so players could prepare for the World Baseball Classic, and the extra time may help Garza.
“It’s like [Dr. Stephen Adams] said, ‘Hey, time didn’t hurt anybody, so just relax, enjoy it a little bit because this will be the last time you’ll be off,’” Garza said. “That’s kind of the plan.”
It doesn’t hurt to raise his left arm.
“It’s just slow,” Garza said of his recovery. “Those muscles are the ones you have to really be careful with because they’re involved in everything you do. Some people say I shouldn’t even be laughing but it doesn’t hurt, so that’s the good thing.”
– Carrie Muskat
An MRI showed Cubs pitcher Matt Garza has a mild lat strain on his left side, and he will be shut down for at least one week to make sure he’s pain free. GM Jed Hoyer said the problem area is where Garza’s lat and oblique meet.
“It’s safe to say it pushes back his first CL start and what it means for the regular season, it’s clearly much too early to say,” Hoyer said. “We felt [the MRI results were] really good news. It is a mild strain and we do think it’ll be about a week until he should be pain free based on the MRI.
“Matt’s in good spirits and he felt much better yesterday,” Hoyer said. “We’re optimistic and it was certainly a positive read from our standpoint.”
Garza, who was facing batters for the first time since July 21, ended what was supposed to be a 40-pitch session after 20 because of discomfort in his left side. He missed the latter part of last season with a right elbow injury.
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza may be sidelined with a strained left lat but that doesn’t mean he’s not in the mix to be the Cubs’ Opening Day starter.
“I know how Garza is, I know he’s a competitor,” Jeff Samardzija said Tuesday. “I know how big of a year he wants to have. To sit and count Garza out wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do. I want that competition. I want me and Garza and Edwin [Jackson] to go out and compete for that spot. It’s only going to make us better and build us as a core of the rotation.”
Garza has been shut down pitching-wise since he came out of Sunday’s live BP session after 20 pitches with a strained left lat. He was to undergo an MRI. On Tuesday, he was working out on the eliptical machine. There’s no timetable for when he’ll resume baseball activities.
As for Samardzija, he was happy to dodge a possible injury on Monday when he danced out of the way of Darwin Barney’s comebacker during the live BP session.
“He sits on my cutter,” Samardzija said of Barney. “He’s not going to get another one.”
Samardzija is on the same schedule he was one year ago, and feels strong. The only change has been the absence of his training partner, Ryan Dempster. The two would run up Camelback Mountain.
“I’ve been up there a few times this year,” Samardzija said. “I guess [Anthony] Rizzo went and ran it yesterday so he’s probably hurting today. Of all the things that have changed for me, that’s been the big thing. For three years, me and Demp have been here in the offseason working out together. When you work out with someone who has a strong work ethic, it’s easier to work out. It’s easier to wake up early, it’s easier to go climb Camelback, it’s easier to do things like that. I’ve really had to learn how to push myself this offseason and do it alone, which is tough. That was great when Demp was here. You get to learn those things and learn how to work and learn when to work, too.”
Couldn’t Samardzija get anyone to train with him in Arizona?
“Nobody was down here in the offseason,” Samardzija said. “I was talking to my dog most of the offseason. My social skills took a hit.”
– Carrie Muskat