We’ll get back to the rumor mill later today, though it’ll be tough to have a good read on a fair chunk of it until we know more about …
Matt Garza’s triceps. After a little sleep, and some more context for his quotes last night, I’m not *quite* as panicked as I was about 10 hours ago. Here are some more full quotes from Garza: “It started getting a little tight in warmups for the third inning. I figured it would loosen up. I went through that [third] inning and felt all right. The first fastball to [Rafael] Furcal didn’t feel normal, but I just kept going and got out of the inning. I came down and went straight to the cage and tried to make a couple throws, and it just started cramping. I went straight to [pitching coach Chris Bosio] and said, ‘Have you ever had this before? Have you ever dealt with this?’ He made the call and said it was not worth the risk …. Anything to do with your elbow area as a pitcher, you get nervous. I’m still young, and I wanted to take the precautions, so I said something. Usually, I wouldn’t say anything, and I’d try to go out there and muscle up.”
You can watch the media’s session with Garza here. Based on his demeanor, it does seem like he really is convinced it was just a flukey cramp situation. His upsettedness seems more about having to leave the game (and the outcome) than about him being worried long-term. He was also well enough to hop onto Twitter later in the evening and suggest that he’ll be fine, and is getting ready for his next start.
Garza perceptively added: “If [the injury] does hurt the team [and] what they had in mind, it’s not like I tried [to get injured]. I’d rather go out there and throw eight or nine than come in here and say I can’t throw the ball.”
Here’s your Dale Sveum quote on the injury: “X-rays and everything came back and nothing was wrong. It was just a cramp in his triceps. It’s one of those things you don’t want to mess around with and it was a precaution, but everything seems to be fine.”
Garza is scheduled to pitch again on Friday (with an extra day off), though he’ll be re-evaluated today to make sure everything looks OK. Assuming he’s able to make that start, it could be his last time to show potential buyers that he’s still got it. Whether they’re already too scared to pony up, or whether Garza’s pregnant wife will deliver right around that time (altering the schedule), we’ll just have to see. A lot could change in a short window here. To be clear: my panic wasn’t about the Cubs not trading Garza. My panic was about the Cubs suddenly not even having the option of trading Garza (0r, if they had decided they wanted to, not having the ability to get a full and fair return for him).
GM Jed Hoyer on big-time international signing Juan Carlos Paniagua: “We’re excited about him. He has a power arm with a plus slider and a guy our international scouts were high on …. [His age, 22, and ability to move quickly through system] was the big part of our thinking. He’s not your typical Dominican signing where he’s going to take a while. We think he can get going pretty quickly once he’s in the States and move fairly quickly through the system.” That doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing him this year or anything, and I wouldn’t even expect him to reach the upper levels of the minors this year. I expect the rest of this year to be about him getting acclimated to the States and the professional game over here. And then next year, the gloves come off, assuming things go well.
The Cubs’ bullpen had been very good for a long time before last night’s implosion. James Russell’s ERA went from 2.45 to 3.63. That’s not easy to do in one night in late July.
Ron Santo will be inducted into the Hall of Fame today, and you can read some great thoughts on him here, and here. It really drives home how bittersweet today is. You can watch the induction ceremonies starting at 11:30 am CT on MLBN and on MLB.com.
Ian Stewart sounds pretty down about the possibility of the Cubs bringing him back next year. He recently remarked on Twitter in response to questions that he will “probably not” be coming back next year, and that he will “probably” be non-tendered. I think Ian’s right that he’ll be non-tendered, but that’s just a money thing. It doesn’t mean the Cubs don’t want him back on a less-expensive, one-year deal. Given the low risk and the upside, I’m hoping that’s what the Cubs do.
I’ll be on The Score with Ben Finfer at 6pm CT today, which is awesome, and I’ll do my best to talk about things other than Matt Garza’s triceps.
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