Ok, good news first: when Matt Garza’s live batting practice session ended early today due to an apparent injury, it didn’t involve his previously-troubled elbow.
Bad news second: all that stuff above.
It appeared that Garza was having trouble with his left side after his 20th pitch in what was to be a 40-pitch outing, and tried to stretch it out before departing. He conferenced with the trainer and Dale Sveum, and ultimately exited. Hopefully it’s nothing major, and there’s just an abundance of caution right now. Of course, when he left his start against the Cardinals last year in July with “triceps cramping,” it didn’t look like much either. He hadn’t faced live hitters since.
We’ll know more later.
UPDATE: Dale Sveum addressed the media, and called Garza’s injury a “mild lat strain.” He said it’s hopefully nothing, and didn’t seem to suggest that it was serious. Undoubtedly, this is the best we could have hoped for, if it’s being portrayed accurately. A strained oblique could have cost Garza serious time, and obviously a re-injury of his elbow could have ended his season. This is probably one of those “super cautious” situations. Still, I won’t blame you if you won’t exhale until Garza steps back on the mound.
He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow, and it’s too early to know what the injury does to his throwing schedule. He’s likely to take some time off, though.
Side note: remember when Ryan Dempster missed a huge chunk of time last year leading up to the trade deadline? Remember how it seemed like a convenient phantom injury designed to protect Dempster from a serious injury while the Cubs shopped him? It was a mildly strained lat.