Matt Garza has been out since mid-July with
triceps cramping er arm soreness er fluid buildup er a stress reaction in his elbow, and he still hasn’t begun a throwing program. He isn’t expected to start throwing until December, at the earliest.
“I still have to get my upper body strength back,” Garza said, per Cubs.com. “I haven’t thrown a ball. It’s been a pain not to do it.”
Ah, but what we want to know is whether it’s a pain to do it.
When Garza was finally shut down with the stress reaction, you may recall that the time line for recovery was expected to have him throwing again by early September, with a theoretical shot at returning for a couple starts in September (though it was only ever theoretical – the Cubs said almost immediately that Garza was not going to pitch again in the bigs this year, even if he was feeling well enough to do so). You may also recall that, over the past couple months, we’ve intermittently heard from Garza that his arm was never feeling all that crummy to begin with, and he could have pitched through things if he had to.
Just seems strange that he still hasn’t picked up a baseball.
I say “strange” rather than “concerning” because there’s an entire offseason before Garza has to be at full strength again. It’s conceivable that, although the original plan was to have him throwing a bit in September, it became clear that that might be pushing it, and the Cubs didn’t see a point in ramping Garza up in late September just so that he can throw a bit on the side, and then be shut down again a few weeks later. It would be nice to know that Garza is able to throw pain free right now, but there probably isn’t additional reason for concern.
For his part, Garza is plenty confident that he’ll be ready to answer the bell.
“I’m completely confident. I have no doubt in my mind I’m going to be ready,” said Garza, per the Sun-Times. “And I’ll be in way better shape …. Right now it’s just about getting me ready. I’m not worried about anything else but getting me stronger and getting better.”
Spring can’t come quickly enough, when it comes to Garza.