Garza Ready for Second Rehab Start and Other Cubs News and Notes

Matt Garza returned to Chicago on Thursday following his first rehab start with the Smokies on Wednesday afternoon. Garza said he feels great and is really looking forward to his second rehab start, which will be Monday with the Iowa Cubs.

The Cubs would like Garza to complete at least three more minor league rehab outings. Garza would not give a timeframe on when he could return to the Cubs’ rotation. According to ESPN Chicago, the Cubs are hoping Garza can return to the rotation by the end of the month.

Matt Garza explained the comments he made on Twitter and told Comcast SportsNet that he thought he had to say something because of all of the negativity. Garza said it’s time to end the negativity that surrounds the Cubs.

Kyuji Fujikawa

Kyuji Fujikawa completed his second bullpen session on Thursday. According to a report from Carrie Muscat, Fujikawa threw the ball a lot better than he did in his first session. Fujikawa is expected to go out on a rehab assignment that could begin on Sunday with Iowa.

The Cubs would like to see Fujikawa make two rehab appearances before he is activated from the DL.

Ian Stewart

The I-Cubs did not play on Thursday due to weather, the game was actually postponed on Wednesday. So, Ian Stewart received an unscheduled day off. Stewart has struggled to the tune of 4-for-44 with eight walks, one double, five runs scored, five RBI, 16 strikeouts and four errors in 13 rehab games.

Theo Epstein addressed Stewart’s status on Wednesday. Stewart’s first rehab assignment expires on Friday.

Epstein said Stewart can be re-certified to remain in the minor leagues. Position players are limited to 20 games on a single rehab assignment, while pitchers can have up to 30 days per rehab assignment. Epstein explained the delays and minor setbacks that Stewart has had during his time with the I-Cubs. Epstein said Stewart does not have his timing right now and Dale Sveum said, “There’s nothing real good going on with his swing right now.” Epstein feels he just needs to keep playing.

Brian Harper, Iowa’s hitting coach, thinks Stewart is close to getting his timing back and has seen consistent improvement.

News and Notes

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs plans to build a new clubhouse and training facilities at Wrigley Field could get pushed back a year if the deal to restore Wrigley Field is not finalized soon. Theo Epstein confirmed the report to ESPN Chicago.

Theo Epstein is waiting for the Cubs to be able to act like a big market team.

Jon Paul Morosi is fine with the Cubs adding a jumbotron to Wrigley Field … as long as the money is spent on players and the Cubs win.

Starlin Castro has hit fifth in the Cubs’ lineup for the last two games, but in the Cubs normal lineup, Castro is the team’s two-hole hitter according to Dale Sveum.

Could the Cubs be a fit for Chase Headley? Jon Paul Morosi thinks the Cubs could match-up better on a trade for Headley than the Yankees.

There is a possibility that the Cubs make a qualifying offer to Matt Garza in the off-season according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.

23 of the Cubs 28 games this season have been decided by three runs or less. The Cubs are 9-14 in those games … and 10 of the Cubs 17 losses have been decided by two runs or less.

Scott Hairston is 3-for-28 versus left-handed pitchers this season … all three hits have left the park. For the season, Hairston is 4-for-34 with three home runs and one double.

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  • calicub

    Headly would be quite the get, but i don’t see it happening. The Padres’ owner just announced he’s willing to shell out the dough for an extension, much to Headley’s surprise.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

      Headley doesn’t want to talk contract during the season.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Reds today, and one of the worst road teams in MLB.

  • K_Gripp

    Somebody should tell Matt Garza that the negativity will stop when he starts pitching and the Cubs start winning games. I like the fact that Cubs fans are breaking out of their shell of “lovable losers” and becoming fire breathing fans that demand a winning team. This post depressed me. I read through the hyper linked articles and all I hear is wait until 2015! That feels like a long way away. I also don’t buy the concept that the Cubs cant be a “big market” club without these renovations. They are 1 of the 5 most popular teams in the MLB and they are in the 3rd biggest market.

    • DWalker

      There were some articles last few weeks that shed some really good light on the cubs financial woes. Basicly, the structure of the sale has the Cubs paying $30-$40 million in interest yearly while not being able to touch the principal on the loan to start paying it down until a certain amount of time passes. I suspect theres also a few things like defered maintaince that is also impacting the bottom line right now. Also, “big market” means being able to effectivily tap into that market, right now the cubs are leaving $70 – $100+ million depending on who you read on the table any other big market team is already capturing. if your looking at income inflow, that might make the Cubs more of a mid market team than a big market team. overall, its not a good finacial picture when right off the top you are giving up $100-$150 million + maintaince on an ancient park that has probably had a major amount of neccessary maintaince defered first for the pending sale and now pending renovation that virtually no other team is even close to having to deal with.

      • calicub

        I seem to recall Neil saying the Deffered maintainence wa something like $15MM a year

      • K_Gripp

        I agree that it makes good business sense to pay down debt and reducing future maintenance costs but in my opinion a MLB owner has 2 responsibilities: 1: Put a winning team on the field and 2: Make a profit. The Cubs have done only one of those things since Ricketts has taken over and that is make a profit. With the highest operating income in baseball and a lucrative television deal on the horizon, and a team value that is increasing every year I believe that the Cubs can put a competitive team on the field now. I’m behind the Ricketts family and the front office but being asked to wait 5 years to see a competitive team is ridiculous.

        • DWalker

          No, I don’t think you really get it. They can’t pay down debt, which is problem number 1, and the maintaince is a level virtually no other team has to contend with, since almost every other tem has replaced their 100+ year old stadiums. Consider they are reported to have revenue of $274 Million, which is #4 on the list between the Phillies at #3 at $279 million and San fransico at #5 at $262 million. Right off, the cubs are paying somewhere in the ball park of $35 million in interest on a dept they can’t pay down yet. If they could attack the principal, then yes, they could reduce that number quickly, its very unlikely they ever wanted to take that much debt in the first place. Until that expires, its a sunk costs. Admittadly, theres a few other organizations paying interest, but none are structured like this or at that level. so, that drops revenue to $229 million with out extra maintaince costs for have an antiqueted stadium that has major needs. That actually drops them to the level of the Braves and Nationals at #12, on the list for revenue. Put in 15 million a year in stadium costs that virtually no other club has to deal with because they have a modern stadium that doesn’t need to worry about those repairs, and that drops them to $214 Million. Thats the Twins at #16 on the revenue list. Thats not horrible, but its very middle of the road. Now, I admit, there are a few counterpoints that could be made. Yes, the Ricketts knew what they were getting into, or should have at least. And yes, money that should be paying down principle can be used to pay interest and maintaince right now, but that principle still has to be paid someday and its just making the final purchase price that much higher that Ricketts are really paying. Consider this also, if we use the revenue of the Braves and Twins, the Cubs are actually still carrying $17-$32 Million more payroll than those two teams. They are carrying less than the nationals though who were tied with the braves for revenue by about 7 million. Based on that, I’d say theres a lot less profit taking here than one would guess by the results on the field. Looking at those numbers, its pretty easy to see why the cubs are desperate for that 70-100 million they are leaving on the table right now, and why they are acting like a mid market team.

          • SuzyS

            DWalker, Good post. It’s nice to see someone else “gets it” even if it is not particularly good news. Extremely well said!

    • 07GreyDigger

      At least he’s trying. Better than the Aramis days where he could give a crap. They need more guys who want to reverse the trend rather than embrace it. *Cough* SORIANO! *Cough*

  • 07GreyDigger

    One positive you can say on Stewart is his 8 walks in 44 ABs. That’s the same amount that Castro, Castillo and Soriano have combined in way more at-bats. Probably why management took a chance on him in the first place.

  • Ray Ray

    I read somewhere that the Astros might pass on both Appel and Gray. They might look to sign a player under slot to have more money to sign later draft picks. The Cubs might have the opportunity to pick whatever pitcher they prefer.

    • DWalker

      That would make for an interesting situation as the FO has said they are more inclined towards position players as first picks over pitchers. Were the Astro’s to take one or the other, the FO could concevably find a reason not to take the other. With both to pick from, it would be very tough to not think one or the other isn’t the best player available in what effectivly then becomes the first pick of the draft for top players. Meadows and Frasier are good players, but are they really a number 1 pick over the two college pitchers, especially both being outfielders, or is there an IF position player outside of the top four that is a realisitic first round pick? Bryant is a big if to stick at third which makes me think he isn’t a #1 pick. Will be interesting and a lot can still change.

      • John_CC

        Drafts are educated crapshoots. College position players have the highest percentage of making it in the MLB, so it makes sense to take the best position player available, if he has the tools be an impact player. The odds are the best there.

        But I don’t see them passing on Appel if he is available. Nearly everyone says that he could be pitching in the ML, right now. They need that more than anything.

      • SuzyS

        The Cubs did not say they were more inclined towards position players.
        They said they looked at it and historically, position players had better results at the top of the draft then pitchers…and they MIGHT go that way.

        Remember when the Twins selected Morneau over Prior for the first pick?
        That was because the Twins did not have the ten mill…to sign Prior.
        Morneau actually had the better career because he was healthy….But Prior was indeed an ACE….He just couldn’t stay healthy.
        I pretty sure that’s all the Cubs were saying…it’s a safer bet to take position players at the top of the draft….But we have such a dearth of mlb ready pitching talent…they may have to go with pitching.

        • SomeGuy27

          *Joe Mauer*

          • SuzyS

            My bad…Thanks.

  • Ray Ray

    For those interested……..Mark Appel is pitching tonight on ESPNU. Stanford vs ASU. I believe the game is at 6pm CDT.

    • Ray Ray

      It is at 5pm CDT.

  • Ray Ray

    Valbuena/Ransom vs Eric Chavez/Martin Prado. Anyone? I don’t think so Dale.

    • 07GreyDigger

      The key here is Valbuena/Ransom are the best third baseman DUO. How about just one? Like I’d take Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria or David Wright playing the position by themselves any day.