Matt Garza is essentially beginning Spring Training and is scheduled to pitch only two innings on Friday night. The Cubs will build his innings from there and the team has not set a timetable for his return.
Matt Garza could be ready by mid-May if he does not have any setbacks. Most starting pitchers make five to six starts in Spring Training to build up their innings and pitch counts.
Garza completed another bullpen session on Tuesday before the Cubs cleared him to begin his rehab assignment. Garza was shut down with a strained left lat that he suffered during his first live batting practice of the spring on February 17. The Cubs placed Garza on the 15-day DL on March 31 retroactive to March 22.
Matt Garza has not pitched in a game since July 21 in St. Louis. Garza had not allowed a run over three innings that afternoon before he obviously hurt his arm when he blew an upper 90s fastball past Matt Holliday. Garza’s season ended when he was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right elbow.
Garza was 10-10 in 31 starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in his first season with the Cubs … and was 5-7 in 18 starts last year with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
Ken Rosenthal reported Garza figures to garner a lot of attention from contending teams once he proves he is healthy. The Cubs have a decision to make concerning Garza’s future with the team if he can stay on a mound. The Cubs do not have many starting pitching options near big league ready and Garza does not turn 30 until November.
The Cougars host Quad Cities on Friday night in Geneva … first pitch scheduled for 6:30pm CDT.