gods-wrathDeftly revealed right around the same time the Cubs were announcing the Tony Campana trade, today Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said Matt Garza would be getting an MRI at some point in the next two days.

Garza, who hadn’t faced live hitters since suffering a stress reaction in his right elbow last July, had to leave his opening live batting practice session yesterday after feeling some pain in his left side. At first he thought he had some kind of cramp, but the Cubs have – for now – diagnosed him with a “mild” left lat strain. (The “lat” muscle is essentially on your middle back, to one side or the other, closely approaching, and extending into, the side area below your armpit.)

Hoyer tried to assuage any fear by telling the media things like, “The good news is his arm felt really strong and he was throwing really well,” and “It was a bummer but I’m glad his arm feels good and Matt’s in real good spirits because of that. It’s the kind of injury that you’re thankful happened in the first live BP. When these injuries happen in the last start of Spring Training it really hurts you in the season.” But, because we are Cubs fans, we are probably not able to hear much more than, “It’s unfortunate for sure and it’s going to set him back a little bit,” which he did say (even if he appended it with, “… but we’re still really confident.”).

In terms of impact to the Cubs’ level of competitiveness in the early going, there probably isn’t much of one (unless another couple injury descend upon them). With the depth in their rotation, they are fairly well-equipped to absorb the loss of Garza for a few April starts, especially if Scott Baker is ready as early as he hopes to be.

That said, the Cubs definitely aren’t yet saying they are worried he’ll miss any regular season time. It’s way too early to worry about that, especially before the results of the MRI come back. There are no plans for his throwing program – it’s a wait-and-see time right now. In the meantime, I suspect he’ll just rest. Hopefully we’ll know more – and know good things – by the end of the week.

It was already fairly unlikely that Garza would be traded before the end of Spring Training, and this does nothing to increase those odds. Even if his schedule is not ultimately impacted, and he still throws well in March, these events will stick in teams’ minds. And the more Garza’s trade value drops, the less likely the Cubs are to even entertain trading him.

  • King Jeff

    Garza keeps popping up with these nagging injuries and it is starting to be a bit alarming. His long term viability as a rotation mainstay keeps taking hits.

    • Spencer

      Such is life as a pitcher of the Chicago Cubs.

      • Noah

        Such is life as any sort of Major League starting pitcher. Anyone can start becoming injury prone, or at least appearing injury prone, when repeating such a high stress action over and over and over again.

    • aCubsFan

      Can’t agree more King Jeff. This is not a good injury and it is related to the elbow injury because in some form he has been compensating his arm angle or something else in his pitching motion.

      It’s similar to what Jake Peevy went through with the White Sox. First it was just a ‘tweak’ and then a full blown muscle separation from the rib cage and Peevy hasn’t been the same ever since.

      • Die hard

        He’s had bad mechanics even before coming to Cubs

  • Fishin Phil

    Here we go again.

    • Spriggs

      Yep, here we go again… Looks like the Cubs are going to need those Raley, Rusin, Coleman guys again.

      • TSB

        But this time we have Dontrelle Willis, so no problem!

  • Evan

    At least he didn’t slip while climbing out of his hot tub.

  • http://BleacherNation Dean

    As long as he doesn’t start doing the towel drill right!

  • ssckelley

    Is Garza made of glass?

  • Rich

    Geez it’s a lat strain
    Calm down
    They will be over protective
    Over diagnose over medicate and mismanage him with a MRI that will not change the treatment anyway
    But will let him sit around for a month

  • cubzforlife

    How about this fun fact. Soriano is fluent in Japanese! On Sportsnight a few minutes ago Kaplan reports Soriano kicks it with Fujikawa (sp). Soriano learned some Japanese in his year there before joining the Yankees. He reportedly practices each morning. Sori’s the man.

  • Curt

    this just in garzas arm falls off but nothing serious hell be ready for opening day.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      They put in on ice in the clubhouse, but it was just precautionary!

  • Scotti

    They don’t have ice in the clubhouse. They had to get it from the concession stand.

  • Marc N.

    It’s a week into ST. There’s no reason not to be extremely cautious.

  • Spriggs

    The injury blows because it doesn’t bode particularly well for the Cubs’ chances of getting off to a good start. Which in turns is probably their only chance of being competitive this year and not becoming sellers at mid season. I really don’t want to go through another ugly 100 loss season where the only things that matter are the minor league games, whether or not the cardinals or white sox lost, and that Castro, Rizzo and Shark don’t suffer any long term injuries.

    I foresee a 1 year contract in Garza’s future.

  • Jim

    I think as a Cub fan it is the same ol’ same ol’. We are experienced in the “don’t be alarmed” and “it is just precautionary” speeches that came with the likes of Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and, and, and … You get this false hope that the guy we sold our farm for, will be alright but it is just one thing after another. He went down, when? beginning of July but said it was nothing really and shouldn’t miss more than one or two trips through the rotation, and then he was out for the year. So nothing too surprising!

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