Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza is still dealing with a pulled lat muscle and will open the 2013 season on the disabled list. Garza, who is back with the Cubs after agreeing to a one year deal this off-season, ended the 2012 season on the disabled list as well.
The pitcher had come into spring training hoping to get healthy and pitch the entire season. The Chicago Cubs had hoped that the starting pitcher would throw well enough to build up some trade value for July’s deadline.
The Cubs are somewhat in flux as they try and nail down their opening day roster. There have been rumors that the Cubs are shopping outfielder Alfonso Soriano and now Cubs manager Dale Sveum will have to shuffle his rotation.
HardballTalk.com reports that Garza’s latest problem is some lingering tightness around the lat muscle. Matt Garza had been out since February 17 because of that injury and had been rehabbing. After a game of soft toss on Saturday, he claimed the muscle was still bothering him.
The Chicago Cubs have now decided that they will be shutting the ace pitcher down completely for the next five to seven days. He will then basically begin Spring Training all over again and will likely be available to return to the starting rotation at the beginning of May.
MLB.com reports that Garza doesn’t see this as a setback as much as it is a warning that he needs to take more time saying:
“Now we know it’s just time. We pushed it and pushed it hard. With the recovery rate I was on, everything felt great and we said, ‘Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.’ It’s just the body’s way of saying you still need to take a little more time.”
With Garza hurt and starting pitcher Scott Baker still recovering from Tommy John surgery, it appears that Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva will take their spots in the rotation.
The Chicago Cubs have said that former Notre Dame wide receiver turned starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija will be the team’s opening day starter.