Yesterday’s 60-day DL move “effectively” ended Matt Garza’s season, and shortly thereafter, Dale Sveum confirmed that the Cubs are “actually” ending it. Garza will not pitch again this season after suffering a stress reaction in his elbow beginning in July, and instead will work toward getting completely healthy for 2013.

As you might expect, knowing what kind of competitor Garza is, he’s not happy about being shut down.

“I’m not fine with it,” Garza told reporters. “I’ll never be fine with it, but I kind of have to [accept it]. I’ve been getting better and working out and I’ll stay ready, and when they say it’s OK to go, I’ll be out there, ready to go.”

Garza still hasn’t been permitted to pick up a baseball by the Cubs, and probably won’t be until after a September 1 re-evaluation.

“I can [throw],” he said. “They don’t want me to. I was throwing before, and they shut me down …. It feels better every day. Until they give me the OK [to throw], that’s when I’ll know how it feels.”

I sense some disconnect there in how Garza feels – how he’d like to proceed – and the Cubs’ plans for him. On the balance, though, I’d rather the Cubs took the overly cautious approach. And Garza knows the Cubs are just doing what’s best for the team and for him, long-term.

“The best move to make is to open up a spot without sacrificing somebody who needs to be up here,” Garza said of being transferred to the 60-day DL. “This is for the better of the club.

“[I’m] disappointed. I wanted to finish it off. I’d like to be the guy who steps out there every five days and be known for that. I’ve had a little hiccup. I’ll come back stronger.”

Garza will undoubtedly work himself into absurdly good shape before the 2013 season, so maybe there’s your silver lining if you want to find it. As for trade or extension talks, it’s hard to see either going much of anywhere until after Garza demonstrates his health and effectiveness next Spring.

And it won’t come any sooner, because Garza doesn’t seem too interested in pitching anywhere this Winter.

“There’s no reason to do that,” Garza said. “Maybe it’s just the Lord’s way of telling me that I need a break …. It’s trying to use it as a blessing and get my body in tip-top shape and get ready for next season. That’s kind of where I’m at right now.”

  • Mr. Gonzo

    Call me a ‘meshugena’ but I think he’ll come back lights-out next year, and we’ll bank at trade deadline.

    • Leo L

      hey meshugena, i think youre right on.

    • http://bleachernation loyal100more

      i think im ready to go back to the table with garza and talk team friendly ( and come back possible) extension with the still young righty. between garza and shark we could have 2 very good pitchers moving forward. with a great come back season and a bit more team control the FO could still move garza if they felt it best. but id have to say at this point his value is low and a better time to extend him may not come. besides good pitching is still the part of this rebuild that isnt coming that easy.

      • Harry Ramirez

        I agree

  • vitaminB

    Did Matt Garza just proclaim that Theo is lord?

    • Ogyu

      Why do you think they call it “theology?”

      • demz

        there needs to be a “like” button

  • W Scott

    I believe by the second half of next year, we are going to see a team that is setting the table for 2014 and Garza will be a part of 2014. #theology

    • Alou and Vinegar

      This might be a little off topic, but why does everyone think that 2014 is the year the Cubs get “good”? Looking at the plan of building through the minors with low level free agent signings that can be flipped for more prospects I don’t see the Cubs being close to a playoff team in 2014. There is no impact talent at the upper levels right now and very little at the major league level to trade. The top prospects at the lower levels are not going to be ready by 2014 either. Even if a couple get moved fast and skip levels it can be expected that they will struggle when they get to the bigs initially.

      I hope I am wrong, but I don’t see the Cubs being a postseason team until 2016 or 2017. The Solers, Baez’s, Almora’s, etc won’t be in the bigs until 2015 at the earliest and will then have to settle in for a year or so. If they are going to be a legitimate contender before then these top prospects need to perform extremely well and then be traded for mlb ready talent and also spend big in free agency. I just don’t see Jedstein doing that. 80-82 win teams are probably the best of what can be expected in the next 3 years.

      • JR

        I think most Cubs fans think 2015 is the year. Although, if they have some things go right who knows 2014 they may be able to make a run as Rizzo and Castro will be studs then (hopefully), and I think Soler will be up that year too. But acquiring good pitching is what everything is based on.

        • rcleven

          It’s looking more like 16. I was optimistic earlier this season calling for 15 but just too many puzzle pieces to put together for even 15.
          Slow and steady steers…….

          • Flashfire

            2015 is two seasons from now, and look at the change the Pirates have made in two season. Look at who is likely to be on that team:

            CF: Logan Watkins
            LF: Free Agent/DDJ
            1B: Rizzo (I’ll admit, this one scares me a bit right now)
            SS: Starlin Castro
            3B: Javier Baez (rookie season — 4 will eventually be his slot for a decade)
            RF: Jorge Soler (rookie season or first full season)
            C: Wellington Castillo
            2B: Barney

            Rotation: This is where it gets iffy. (Appel), Panigua, Shark, (Free Agent), Wood

            Appel in parentheses represents whichever of the college pitchers coming into the draft this year we get.

            That’s a team that could do some real damage and, with multiple rookies, will get better as the season progresses. I still like our 2015 odds.

            • Alou and Vinegar

              No offense, but thats not a playoff team. I agree that will be the rookie season for Baez and Soler if they make it. Watkins might be there also but it will be as a utility guy or at 2b. Castillo will likely not be the catcher and I think Barney may be traded in a deal to get more pitching.

              Going to need a lot better pitching than that to be a playoff team and most will probably be via free agency.

              That team may develope into a playoff team, but unlikely in 2015

              • Flashfire

                Compare that to this year’s Pirates who are currently a WC team.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Actually, the Cubs compare unfavorably to last year’s Pirates. The ’11 Pirates were a 0.500 team up until June. They then made up for it with a huge losing streak which got some attention because they lost one game after a horrible call at home plate; people still say that the Pirates entire season was derailed by that. (It’s nonsense: they had already lost several games in a row and they were playing over their heads in terms of Run Differential.)

                  However, what the Pirates had was some excellent pitching in their minor leagues. The Cubs simply do not have that. Now, it would be better for the Cubs (and their fans) if the 8-man regular squad was drastically improved: they are last in the NL in runs scored. However, the Cubs starters are the 3rd worst in the NL: and there is nothing like the Pirates talent in the Cubs minor league system.

                  • Flashfire

                    How do they compare to the ’09 Pirates?

            • Tony S

              Arodys Vizcaino will hopefully be back 100% in 2014 and pushing for a rotation spot as well. At the very least you’d hope he was a very good reliever.

              • Doug Dascenzo

                Let’s hope it’s smooth ride back and he doesn’t become a Francisco Liriano.

              • Flashfire

                In my mind he’s a lights-out closer. If we get even more from him, YAY!

      • bbmoney

        I agree with most of what you’re saying. 2014 is probably soon to be thinking playoffs, but I think we can field a competitive, in the sense that I don’t expect us to loose 90+ games, in 2014. Especially if you expect the Cubs to pick up a couple more FA’s after 2013, not neccessarily huge impact guys, but guys that are quality big leaguers.

        Playoffs is more of a 2015 (and I think more likely 2016 and beyond) kind of a thing. 2015 is when you figure to see the first of this years drafts and international FA signings see significant time in the bigs, so expecting too much before then is very optimistic.

      • droppedsomething

        Well, the Cubs can continue to stink for the next two years and hope that a Strasburg and Harper fall into their laps. That’s obviously what has triggered the quick ascension of the Nats. Combining that wih a few of their own prospects ripening at the same time (Desmond, Espinosa, Lombardozzi, Bernadina), a couple of judicious trades (Gio Gonzalez, Kurt Suzuki), a smart FA signing or two (Edwin Jackson, Adam LaRoche) to go along with a couple of key young vets (Ryan Zimmerman and Jordan Zimmerman)…and things can happen quickly.

        I’m just saying that it is far too early to write off 2015 as “the year”. Let’s see what develops between now and the same time next year. Then we’ll have a much better idea of what we’re dealing with.

  • Dan

    I hope he gets healthy, comes back lights out and the Cubs lock him up with a nice extension.
    He’s an impressive young pitcher, a good role model to the younger players and just all around good guy.

    • willis

      Totally agree here. I want him to be a part of the building.

      I also agree that although a little on the intense side (ok completely), he’s good for the club and a good influence on younger players.

  • gratefulled

    God is a Cubs fan?

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      I would seriously question that. If he isn’t a Yankee fan and is a Cub fan, he has a sick sense of humor.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Every Babylon 5 fan will tell you that Daffy Duck is the god in charge of the Cubs.

  • RWakild

    There are two bad parts of his game is his defense and batting. Wouldn’t be uspet if we traded him to an American league team if they get premium return. Am a big fan of pitchers who can hit and play defense.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      No amount of fielding or hitting can make up for poor pitching. Otherwise, guys like Micah Owings would keep big league jobs. Conversely, a really good pitcher can be a horrible batter and fielder and still help his team win a lot of games. Sure, it’s nice if a guy can field and hit well: but it’s icing, not cake.

      • Edwin

        Yeahbut icing is way better than cake.

    • Drew7

      I’m a fan of pitchers who can pitch.

      • Drew7

        Dammit. Should’ve read further down! Sorry Loyal.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    im a big fan of pitchers that can pitch!

    • Drew7

      Yes. That should probably be the main skill they should focus on…

      • Ogyu

        I’m a fan of pitchers who can bake a fluffy soufflee.

  • Edwin

    I think the Cubs are better off going to arbitration with Garza, and then either trading him or doing a qualifying offer. He’ll be 29 this November(and the 2013 season), so any extention will wind up mostly paying for his age 30 and after seasons. Unless he’s willing to take a huge hometown discount, I don’t think he’s the kind of elite pitching talent that needs to get locked up long term. I think 5/60 would be the most I’d offer, and even that might be too high.

    • Brett

      If he would do 5/60, including his 2013 season, I’d be all over that. Heck, I think I’d be all over 5/70.

      • Edwin

        If you don’t mind my asking, how do you get to 5/70 (or why would you think he’s worth more than that)? Are you going off of a comparable deal, or more gut feeling?

        • Brett

          Only so many post-new-CBA deals to use as a basis. If the Cain’s and Hamels’ are getting $20+ million over longer than five years, it’s very hard to see a healthy Garza not getting at least $14 million a year on a shorter deal. He’s not those guys, but he’s also not half as valuable. Heck, a 3 WAR projection doesn’t seem unreasonable over the next five years, which could make him worth $15/16 per.

          • Edwin

            Thanks for the answer. It makes sense. I’m probably just more pessamistic about the 3 WAR projection. I figure’d he would be at about 3.5 next season, and then start to decline by .5. It’ll be interesting to see how the $/Win changes with the new CBA.

            • Brett

              Yeah, that’s the thing. I expect – with little more basis than the few extensions we’ve seen, the offseason contracts, and the logic behind the CBA – that we’re going to see that number climb well north of $5.5M, probably even over $6M.

            • JR

              Even, if Garza is healthy it still makes me nervous locking that dude up long term. This is 2 weird elbow injuries over the last 2 years now.. I’m hoping he lights it up in spring training, and used as trade bait before the season. Also, the Cubs could pay for all of Garza’s salary next year to help with the return. They should have plenty of payroll to do so..

  • Steve

    “Playoffs?????…. Playoffs????!!!!???”

    Best press conference EVER.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I wanted Theo. I like Theo, but lets quit deluding ourselves. This team is a mess right now. Now correctly they are blowing a lot of it up. I think we all assume they have already written off 2013. Here’s the rub. They should have been up front and Ricketts should have too in 2011 instead of running around talking about anything happening. This year on the field has been a complete failure. Off the field its a B maybe higher, maybe lower but it was necessary.

    But while I buy this team continuing to rebuild in 2013, let’s not be absurd. First, this a major market. Even small markets like St Louis where they have won a lot wouldn’t accept an endless rebuild and Cub Fans shouldn’t either. It’s hard to argue that losing is acceptable ever, but when people start talking 2016, that’s getting absurd. I don’t think Theo or Ricketts can stand the heat of that kind of losing. Their walking a very thin line, far more thin than most think. The media is holding up thus far for this mess on the filed, but another 100 losses will change that next season for butts in seats and for advertisers. I’d be a liar as a Theo guy if I didn’t admit I am certainly more disappointed on a lot of fronts with the overall performance and very concerned about the ownership and performance of Ricketts. Just my view. Not off the Theo parade but not drinking the 2016 Kool aid.

    • Flashfire

      Enless rebuild? It’s been TEN MONTHS.

      • Featherstone


  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I’m talking about the endless babble that wait until 2015 or 2016. As to 10 months, I said clearly and will again writing off this year is fine, I’m not completely sold on writing off 2013 but so be it. Beyond that, it gets ridiculous.somewhere people bought into to diseased way of viewing this thing. You have to embrace losing to win…. That is untrue and winning breeds winning. I am mildly at the moment concerned that Theo hasn’t placed much emphasis in establishing a winning culture at the major league level. Yes I like what he is doing at the Minor League level, but you have to win and establish that culture at the ML level too. 2014 out to end the bs and peoples ass across the gambit should be on the line fi this team doesn’t win 80 games by then. In fact not winning 70-75 anyway you cut in 2012 is not a success.

    • Featherstone

      Winning 70-75 means nothing this year or next. Meaningless wins are just that, meaningless. Ill take 2-3 seasons of 100+ loss seasons to ensure we get top draft picks. Last I recall the Nationals were doing pretty well.

    • The Dude Abides

      You are on the wrong site saying anything bad about Theo; these guys are hook line sinker sold that losing and getting high draft picks is the strategy that all great teams are built, or you would think so based upon the endless conversation about some kid hitting a homer off of another kid in some Podunk town.

      Theo is smart he will have a much better product on the field by 2014 and maybe even competing for the division. He will sign FA players, trade some of these 19 – 20 yr. old draft prodigy’s for established players, the whole nine yards. He will not be one dimensional he knows better.

      Hopefully at that time we will get around to how important the Card series is and how we need to win to take the division and let the rookie league sink a little into the background. Hang in there and check back for updates (Brett & Luke do a hell of job of keeping you current with everything Cubbie), that is about all we can do.

      In Theo we trust…

      • Flashfire

        the endless conversation about some kid hitting a homer off of another kid in some Podunk town.

        You do realize that at least 60% of Luke’s job is to do exactly that, right? You can’t praise him in one sentence while calling his job silly in another.

      • TWC

        these guys are hook line sinker sold that losing and getting high draft picks is the strategy that all great teams are built…

        What BS. While there certainly are people who frequent this site who would espouse such (demonstrably false) fantasies, to suggest that that’s what the majority of folks around here believe — or desire — is total crap.