The injury bug has bitten the Chicago Cubs, and things aren’t looking too good for veteran pitcher Matt Garza.
Garza, who has been injured with a strained left lat since February 17, is expected to miss at least the first month of the 2013 season, according to manager Dale Sveum.
However, Garza is trying to be positive about his injury, telling Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, ”It could be [I'm out until May], but that’s not what I’m planning,” He continued, “I don’t sit back and let things happen, I try to make them happen. I’ll keep pushing and going.”
Many fans may feel skeptical about Garza’s health, considering he missed the second half of the 2012 season with elbow problems. He announced at the beginning of Spring Training that he rested during the off-season and that his arm felt great, making him ready to go for 2013.
Sure, his arm felt great, but now we have to worry about his back.
It’s nice that Garza is trying to be optimistic about this unfortunate situation, but what does this mean for the rest of the Cubs starting pitching rotation? This has been a team that has struggled for years with pitching, and losing one of their best pitchers before Opening Day is not what the Cubs need.
The loss of Garza is another blow the Cubs’ pitching staff has received, considering newly acquired pitcher Scott Baker is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. The loss of these two for the start of 2013 will give Travis Wood and newcomer Carlos Villanueva a chance to help lead the Cubs to victory.
Although Garza’s injury may make Cubs fans a bit nervous, Sveum seems confident that the pitcher will make a speedy recovery, saying, ”[His lat] is not torn or real bad. It’s just not quite ready to throw. It’s not a setback, it didn’t get worse, it’s just not ready – it’s like an evaluation process. Obviously, the evaluation was that he’s not ready to step up any extra intensity throwing.”
Don’t lose hope yet, Cubs fans. There seems to be hope that Garza will return to the rotation soon enough.