Matt Garza was very good in his rehab start for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Monday. Garza threw 54 pitches, 37 for strikes, in 3.1 innings of work. He gave up four hits and one earned run, but struck out three and did not walk a batter. Reports are that his stuff was very impressive, with his fastball sitting at 92-94 mph, and it looks like a return to the Chicago Cubs rotation will happen sooner rather than later.
Garza will make at least one more rehab start before being ready to return to the big leagues. He has not pitched in the major leagues since July of last season because of an assortment of injuries, so Cubs fans are certainly ready to see him pitch again. Garza was once thought to be the ace of the rotation, but now it would just be nice to see him become a part of it again.
According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, Cubs manager Dale Sveum talked to Garza after the outing. “He was really pumped up, everything went really well. The hits were a blooper, bunt hit, so he was pretty efficient and threw all his pitches 100 percent. His slider was up to 87 mph today. He was getting after it a little bit today.”
Relief pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa, who is rehabbing from a strained right forearm, might be a little closer to returning than Garza. He pitched one successful inning in Iowa on Sunday and is scheduled for another inning for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies on Tuesday. According to Sveum, if everything goes well, that will be the end of the rehab appearances for Fujikawa.