Garza Could Return in a Month … and Other Cubs Bits

Matt Garza completed another step in his rehab process on Tuesday. While reports suggested that Garza threw what would have been his third bullpen session in a week, according to Comcast SportsNet, Garza did long toss and threw off flat ground.

According to multiple reports, Dale Sveum said that Garza’s Spring Training is basically starting now. The Cubs plan for Garza to complete at least two more bullpen sessions before he goes out on a rehab assignment. Garza could return in a month if all goes as planned … but as Comcast SportsNet pointed out, that is an optimistic projection for his return.

Most pitchers need about 30 days to prepare for a season, so if Matt Garza does not have any further setbacks he could join the Cubs’ rotation during the second week of May.

Darwin Barney

The Cubs are targeting Tuesday’s opener against the Rangers for Darwin Barney to come off the DL. According to multiple reports, Barney is expected to have the five stitches removed from his left knee this weekend then join up with one of the affiliates for a rehab games on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The Cubs have not decided which minor league team Barney will play … it all depends on the weather.

Barney’s presence has definitely been missed. Several plays that Barney would likely have made were not converted into outs over the first eight games … and one has to wonder if the four-run first inning on Monday would have turned out differently if Luis Valbuena knew Barney was at second.

Dale Sveum is looking forward to having his Gold Glove second baseman back.

International Bonus Pools for 2013-2014

Baseball America acquired a list of the preliminary bonus pools for the 2013-2014 international signing period, which begins on July 2. Baseball America reported “for the first time, international bonus pools will be tiered bases on reverse order of the 2012 Major League winning percentage.”

The numbers reported by Baseball America are preliminary and subject to change.

The Cubs 2013-2014 international bonus pool is $4,557,200 up from the $2.9 million that each team received for the 2012-2013 signing period which ends on June 15, 2013.

In addition to the international signing bonus pool, each team can sign up to six players for $50,000 or less that does not count against the bonus pool. And any signing of $10,000 or less will also not count against the team’s bonus pool.

Full Report from Baseball America

News Bits

Cubs’ minor leaguer Pedro Silverio was suspended for 50 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Silverio tested positive for metabolites of stanozolol. Silverio is currently on the roster of the Dominican Summer League Cubs and will serve his suspension when the DSL season begins.

Patrick Mooney wonders if there will be any top free agents left once the Wrigley deal is done.

Dale Sveum used Carlos Marmol in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game because Shawn Camp was unavailable. Camp threw 30 pitches on Monday, 17 for strikes, and gave up two runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

The Indians designated RHP Robert Whitenack for assignment on Tuesday.

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