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Matt Garza ruled out for Opening Day and might not rejoin Cubs’ rotation until early May

Mar 3, 2013, 1:19 PM EDT

matt garza cubs getty Getty Images

As first noted by Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs announced Sunday at their spring training complex in Mesa, Arizona that right-hander Matt Garza has been ruled out for Opening Day and probably won’t be ready until May due to lingering discomfort around his strained left lat muscle.

Garza suffered the lat injury on February 17 while tossing a live batting practice session to a group of minor league hitters and recently aggravated it while trying to restart his throwing program. He will be shut down for at least the next 5-7 days in Cubs camp.

Garza, 29, registered a 3.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 96/32 K/BB ratio across 103 2/3 innings last year before suffering a season-ending right elbow injury. The Cubs are expected to use him as trade bait this summer and will want him as healthy as possible around the July 31 deadline. So look for Garza to be treated with much more precaution moving forward.

Carlos Villanueva and Travis Wood will open 2013 in Chicago’s starting rotation.

  1. uyf1950 - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Garza can kiss his huge payday goodbye when he hits FA at the end of the 2013 season.

  2. hammyofdoom - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    I’m getting happier and happier that the Red Sox never made a trade for this guy last year. Hope he recovers alright and the Cubs are able to get something for him

  3. Old Gator - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    By happy coincidence, I think that’s just when Tweeter is supposed to rejoin the Feesh. Can we talk, Theo?

    • derklempner - Mar 3, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Considering he’s the GM, you might want to talk to Jed Hoyer instead of Theo.

      And who the hell is Tweeter, anyway?

      • derklempner - Mar 3, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        Never mind, you mean Logan Morrison, correct? The Cubs have Rizzo to play 1B; he had a better year, statistically, than Morrison in 2012.

        They need another 1B about as much as they need another losing season.

  4. alexo0 - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    I’d be surprised if we saw him at all in the first half. It’s starting to seem like one of those injuries that will hamper him the entire season, if not longer.

  5. dietch1 - Mar 3, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    The only thing that seems to be consistently healthy with Garza is that horrible patch of hair on his face.

  6. mscott4 - Mar 3, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    At this point I could see the Cubs signing him to a team friendly extension. Not going to get full value through a trade,

    • cowboysoldiertx - Mar 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      Thats what I am thinking too!

  7. shwoogy1 - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    China doll.

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