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?