Matt Garza completed his third rehab start on Saturday afternoon. Garza started for the Smokies, his second start for the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate in his three outings. Garza was not as sharp as he was in his previous start last Monday for Iowa but he was able to get his work in and is scheduled to pitch in the coming week for the I-Cubs.
Garza threw 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball on Saturday. Garza allowed three hits with two walks and three strikeouts on 66 pitches, 40 for strikes. Garza was scheduled to throw 70-75 pitches or four-five innings but a 30-pitch first inning shortened his outing in terms of innings. Garza reportedly threw his fastball consistently in the low-mid 90s.
A report from Gordon Wittenmyer indicated Garza could make two starts for Iowa before he comes off the DL.
Saturday was another positive step forward for Matt Garza and the Chicago Cubs.
The questions began prior to Saturday’s game on which starter could be the odd-man out when Matt Garza is ready to come off the DL. Dale Sveum said that Edwin Jackson would remain in the rotation and so would Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood. Sveum indicated the Cubs would not go with a six-man rotation that would mean that either Scott Feldman or Carlos Villanueva could be on their way to the bullpen.
Ian Stewart made his first start at third base for the I-Cubs on Saturday night since he was optioned down the minors eight days ago. Jed Hoyer addressed the Stewart situation prior to Saturday’s game. Hoyer explained that the organization has been patient with Stewart, now it’s his time to be patient with them.
“I’m not sure. It’s a really good question. I hope there is. I hope he starts playing well. I do think there’s a lot of talent there. It’s been sort of an unfortunate run for us with the injuries. A left-handed hitter with power who plays good defense – I hope there’s a future with him here. But at this point it’s going to be about performance. Potential can only take you so far, and at some point you have to perform.”
The Cubs plan on Josh Vitters seeing more time at third base. Vitters was playing in the outfield until Ian Stewart ticked off the front office and was outrighted to Iowa and lost his spot on the 40-man roster in the process.
Jed Hoyer addressed Vitters’ playing time on Saturday. Hoyer said that Vitters would still play in the outfield (Vitters started at first base on Saturday night) but they are doing him a disservice by not playing him at third base.
The Cubs traded RHP Drew Carpenter to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later. Carpenter signed a minor league contract with the Cubs in the off-season that included a non-roster invite to big league camp. Carpenter did not make the club out of camp after a decent spring after being considered the sixth starter in the Cubs’ system for a short time.
Carpenter really struggled with the I-Cubs. The veteran minor leaguer was 1-4 in six starts with a 7.33 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP (33 hits, 15 walks and 20 strikeouts in 27 innings).