It didn’t really feel like a true God’s Wrath Watch (or Benevolence) type update. Just an update.
Dale Sveum met with the media yesterday and said that Matt Garza (strained lat) is getting better every day, and said Garza felt “really good” yesterday.
If Garza is able to throw in the next few days, Sveum “doesn’t see why” Garza wouldn’t still be ready in time for Opening Day. So, there’s your newly-revised target: pitch this week, Matt. The Cubs have the depth to withstand a brief DL stint for Garza to open the season – indeed, it would arguably buy them more time to evaluate the back end of the rotation candidates (Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva, primarily). That said, it would be preferable if he was just ready to go for that first week of the season. He’s, like, a good pitcher.
Given that trading Garza is Spring Training is now essentially completely off the table anyway, the Cubs might as well take it very easy with Garza. There’s little to be gained by pushing him into Spring starts, but there’s plenty to be gained from a healthy, effective Garza in April, May and June – either in the form of more wins for the Cubs, or more trade value in July.
Not that Garza’s future is necessarily solely as a trade piece, mind you. But this lat injury certainly had more of an impact on the Garza trade possibilities than the Garza extension possibilities … assuming he gets over it in short order.