Final 2011 Spring Training line for Matt Garza:

21.2 innings, 25(!) earned runs, 35(!!) hits, 14 walks. Um, yo. *Insert finger into collar, tug nervously.*

Should we be concerned? I’m usually the first person to say that Spring Training stats are meaningless, particularly for guys whose position on the team is secured. And I stick to that, for the most part.

But Garza has been getting hammered all Spring. Consistently, and horribly. While Spring stats do not, in and of themselves, suggest regular season performance, guys do tend to carry streaks into the season. And it’s not as if Garza is always horrible in the Spring: last year, Garza had a 2.28 ERA in over 27 innings of work. The numbers he’s putting up are sufficiently bad that, despite the fact that Spring Training is just practice, there can be only one explanation: either (1) Garza is not pitching well right now – he just doesn’t have “it”; or (2) Garza is not healthy. Let’s hope it’s just number one, as unfortunate as that may be.

We won’t have to wait too long to see if Garza’s Spring indicates much – he’ll pitch for realsies against the Pirates this weekend. At least it’s the Pirates, right?

  • Dave

    Last year he was in Florida, the air in Arizona is thinner, more dry. Some pitchers really sucked it up in pre-humidor Coors Field and were perfectly fine pitching in normal conditions.

    • Ace

      A few thoughts: (1) I know breaking pitches don’t break as much in Arizona, but very few D-backs pitchers have ERAs over 10 during the season; (2) Ryan Dempster, by way of example, has been light’s out in Az; and (3) Garza was crappy in ST in 2009 (which I conveniently omitted because it didn’t fit the theme of the post. :)

      • jonathan

        Um..he has given up 50 homeruns over the last two years. And i think the NL Central power numbers compare to the AL East. I’ll go with concerned, not worried just yet.

      • Dave

        Did you see the Diamondbacks bullpen last year? I just don’t think we should make too much of this yet, between the new team, new pitching coach, more difficult pitching environment and terrible defense, Garza has has a lot to deal with.

  • Tommy

    Don’t dismiss the Pirates. They are heading in the right direction for them. Clint Hurdle has em razzed for 2011. I say all this as a Cubs fan.

  • Tommy

    You might rue the day you ragged on the Pirates. The tide may be turning this year.

  • Art

    does the “air excuse” go for Cashner? maybe they should limit Matt Garza’s innings.

    • Ace


      • philoe beddoe

        regarding Garza..has anyone reported/noticed a dip in velocity?…then I would be concerned….if not then I would make nothing of his bad spring….just as apparently the Cubs are making nothing out of Koyie Hill’s bad spring….