Matt Garza admits that maybe he “came out too strong, too fast” this Spring as he started pitching again after missing significant time last year with a stress reaction in his elbow. Maybe that’s why he mildly strained his left lat, and is now resting for a week.
Either way, Garza still doesn’t seem too worried, even if it means he’s going to miss some Spring starts.
“Right now, I just want to get ready to throw, get ready to start pitching for opening week, and that’s where my timeline’s at,” Garza told the media. “Spring starts – of course, they matter – but I’m more concerned about being ready by Opening Day.”
Garza has been instructed to rest for a week, and then he’s likely to throw a bit on the side before debuting in a Spring Training game.
“It’s like [Dr. Stephen Adams] said, ‘Hey, time didn’t hurt anybody, so just relax, enjoy it a little bit, because this will be the last time you’ll be off,’” Garza said. “That’s kind of the plan.”
Indeed, rest rarely hurts, and there’s no sense in pushing things long before the season begins. But Garza knows as well as the Cubs (and we) do that his 2013 season is critical as he approaches free agency, and is coming off a season derailed by an elbow injury.
So it’s a balance of making sure Garza is healthy, but also making sure he’s in position to have the best possible year (or, at least first half) he can. It’s important for everyone.