Baker Undergoes Precautionary MRI and Other Cubs News Bits

In case you’ve missed it, MRI’s are in style this spring … well, at least for the Cubs. As the Tribune reported, Dale Sveum joked the Cubs could save money by purchasing their own MRI machine. Two more players had MRI’s on Monday, Scott Baker and Ian Stewart.

According to multiple reports, Scott Baker showed up Monday morning with discomfort in his right elbow. Baker said he felt fine following Sunday’s start, but due to the pain he felt on Monday, the Cubs sent him for a precautionary MRI. Results of the test were not available on Monday night and are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

Before the news surfaced that Baker was scheduled for an MRI, he told Comcast SportsNet that his rehab was on track, despite Sunday’s results.

Matt Garza

Reports over the weekend that Matt Garza threw from 90 feet on flat ground were inaccurate. Garza clarified where he stands with his rehab on Monday.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, Garza made about 20 throws from 75 feet on Sunday. Garza is hopeful he can stretch the distance out to 120-to-150 this week. But Garza is not going to rush the rehab process.

Garza is targeting a mid-April timeframe to join the Cubs rotation while Dale Sveum said May 1 might be more realistic. Patrick Mooney reported Garza’s return could “swing seven days in either direction” and “it could be the middle of May.”

According to a report from Carrie Muskat, the plan is for Garza to play catch every other day and he “won’t attempt to throw off a mound until he’s able to play catch from 120-150 feet for a couple of days.”

Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday on his sore left quad. The results of the MRI were not announced, but according to the Sun-Times, it probably means that Stewart will not be on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster.

Stewart hit in a minor league game last Thursday (March 14) and was expected to participate in another minor league game on Saturday. Stewart reportedly removed himself from the game with soreness in the quad.

Dale Sveum told ESPN Chicago that the Cubs have a small window for Stewart to be ready by April 1 and that window is getting ready to shut.

Cubs News Bits

Javier Baez and Jorge Soler made positive impressions on coaches during camp.

Travis Wood will pitch in a minor league game on Wednesday to stay on schedule. Scott Feldman will face the Dodgers in Tucson on Thursday afternoon while Jeff Samardzija is slated to face the Mariners in Peoria on Thursday night.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, Ian Stewart’s injury could open up a spot for Steve Clevenger to make the team. The Cubs do not plan on carrying three catchers but if Clevenger can prove his versatility then he could make the team in a back-up role. The Sun-Times also reported that the team will be watching the waiver wire over the next two weeks for other options.

Carlos Marmol is not concerned with trade rumors according to a report from Bruce Levine.

According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Alberto Gonzalez or Edwin Maysonet have a chance at breaking camp with the team.

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  • BosephHeyden

    I really hope Feldman and Baker can stay healthy through July. If they’re healthy, they should be able to do well enough in the NL to convince other teams to part with a prospect or two to obtain them. They’re obviously not long-term solutions, but they don’t need to be: they just need to be healthy enough to get guys to better the team next year.

    • Ray Ray

      Baker probably won’t get enough starts by the trade deadline to interest any teams and net any prospects. That is why I didn’t like this signing.

      • calicub

        Your probably right Ray Ray, and thats concerning, especially where that is seemingly the best way for the FO to rebuild the system quickly.

        But I’m optimistic Baker is able to get on track to qualify himself for an extension with the cubs. I think that if health Baker should be a solid #4 behind Garza, Shark, or EJAX, with hopefully one stepping up and becoming the ace this organization needs or a superb #5 if Vizcaino can preform as promised, or they go out and acquire a top of the line guy like Price or Lincecum if he can regain.

        I’m also looking for the cubs to go after Phil Hughes this next offseason.

        • 07GreyDigger

          I don’t know about that. Hughes is young, but incredibly inconsistent.

  • dburke32

    I’m growing incredibly sick of the daily Stewart saga…the guy’s a bum. I hope they just cut him so and get it over with..

    • dburke32

      **soon**

  • John_CC

    Adios Ian. Though I’ve never had terribly high hopes for him, I did have hope that he could have filled the hole for a year or two. Now I’m with dburke, he will be collared with the “bum” label and that’s a tough one to shake.

    Time to cut bait and move on.

    • calicub

      But what would the Cubs gain from cutting him? They wouldn’t save face for a trade they’ve admitted was ill-fated. Not to mention watching him regain form with another organization would be plain embarrassing.

      More importantly, what do the Cubs have to lose by allowing him to rehab in AZ? Payroll isn’t tight and the sheer dearth of options make even a slouch like him appealing..

      • John_CC

        I know, I’m just sick of it. It isn’t going to hurt the Cubs to let him sit in extended ST. But after that, what do they do? He has a minor league option left, but do you want him taking reps away from any of the guys down there at 3B or 1B? I don’t.

        And worrying about him “re-gaining form” with another team is not something I will lose any sleep over.

        I just don’t like slouches.

      • dburke32

        I think what they avoid is uncertainty throughout the year. I understand they don’t have a lot of depth at third base, but i’d rather see them give a bunch a young guys the opportunity when Valbuena needs a rest. As most Cubs fans know, it’s extremely frustrating when a position is expected to be solid going into a season, only to end up being a swinging door because the player that was supposed to be an every day player is injured is spurts throughout the season.

        Bottom line, I don’t think Stewart is going to be healthy this year, so what’s the sense for the Cubs to be on a the hook for a couple million dollars. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll make a last minute trade or waiver wire pick-up

  • John_CC

    Note to “Down on the Farm Poll” voters: The idea here is to ask Tom and CCO to keep us apprised of the progress of players that the average fan otherwise will not hear much about. Soler, Baez, Almora and Vogelbach are all top prospects and will be reported on either way. Wouldn’t you also like to learn about other potential Cubs like Watkins, Candelario, Underwood etc?

    • calicub

      Agreed. I find guys like Gretsky, Blackburn and Hodges more worth the vote. Although, I am glad that ~60% of us areexcited to follow a guy who had been under-the-radar elsewhere in Tim Saunders.

      Either way, its great to see nearly 500 people interested in the future of the org.!

      • John_CC

        I voted for Blackburn and Hodges!

  • DWalker

    Is it just me, or are the cubs making a lot more use of the MRI than last year? pretty much every twinge seems to be getting an MRI now. Is that a valid impression or am I just imagining it. If I am not, are other teasm using MRI’s as much? to me this seems like another aspect of the medicine ball concept. Diagnose early and tailor the recovory to the injury as oon as possible rather thna take a wait and see approach.