God’s Wrath Watch: Matt Garza Shut Down, Will Start Season on DL

gods-wrathToday Dale Sveum revealed that Matt Garza didn’t respond too well to yesterday’s throwing session, and he’ll be shut down for another week. He is still experiencing tightness in his left lat, and the Cubs don’t want it to become the kind of thing that lingers all year.

Garza is now a virtual lock to start the year on the DL and could miss as much as the first month of the season. This means that both Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva are likely to start the year in the rotation.

Not much else to say at this point. It ain’t good news.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

117 responses to “God’s Wrath Watch: Matt Garza Shut Down, Will Start Season on DL”

  1. Luke

    I wonder what Garza would say to a one or two year prove-he’s-healthy style extension about now.

    1. CubFan Paul

      He’s already hating himself because he turned down Danks like money (5/$65M) and got hurt afterwards last year. He may have no choice on a 1 or 2 year deal especially if the Cubs are dicks and don’t trade him, in favor of the qualifying offer.

  2. cubchymyst

    If garza misses the first month, how many starts could he get before the trade deadline?

    1. Spencer

      Between 10-15.

    2. Spencer

      Closer to 15

  3. Rich

    Has to me more than a lat strain….
    for him to maybe now miss 1 entire month…

    gotta believe there is more going on…

  4. willis

    Forget the trade deadline and the trade of him altogether. The Cubs, to be anywher near decent this year, which is important to some fans, need this guy to help set the tone at the top of the rotation. His trade value is uber low right now anyway with all his injuries, so just try and push that out of your mind for the time being.

    This news sucks. But, you kind of had that feeling once he first went down, this shit was going to hang around and bug for awhile. Dammit.

    1. Ben

      Anyone else think that these injuries might just be Garza’s way of preventing the team from trading him? He seems to keep getting hurt right before the team needs to show him off to potential suitors.

      1. DarthHater

        Only if Garza is either: (a) deliberately injuring himself; or (b) controlling the team’s medical staff. Time to adjust the old tinfoil hat…

        1. Ben

          Am I wrong in remembering that in each of his injuries, it was diagnosed as something minor originally, but then Garza “felt something” and was put on the DL, or was out much longer than expected? Im not accusing the Cubs of anything. It just seems fishy to me with Garza himself. Guaranteed contracts make it very easy for a player who’s a decent actor or liar to sit out and still get paid.

          1. DB Kyle

            That’s pretty much always how pitching injuries happen.

  5. Jp3

    Hooray!!! We should get another top 3 pick at this rate, especially if starlin’s hammy starts acting up again… Could be a very early fire sell ladies and gentleman

    1. CubFan Paul

      Me likey. Theo announced the fire sell in June last year. I expect the same (because a top 5 draft pick in 2014 is more important than winning in 2013).

    2. TonyP

      You’re celebrating a player getting hurt and we will most likely have a worse record for it? You are a freaking Douche Bag. Go find another team to be a “fan” of.

      1. Jp3

        I’m not celebrating it I’m merely being sarcastic… The season hasn’t even got out of a couple weeks of spring training and we’ve already lost Ian Stewart(who cares), starlin(inflamed hammy) and Matt garza(lat) for undetermined amounts of time… I’m merely pointing out that we are poised for another great year and as theo said if we suck at the break there wil be a fire sale… Hate to be the bearer of bad news fella but we’re going to stink right out of the gate more than even we anticapated. As Doc mentioned the other day out first half schedule is brutal

        1. TonyP

          I didn’t get the sarcasm, sorry for popping off at you.

          1. Jp3

            Normally there is reason for spring optimism but this year it’s looking even bleaker than last year… I didn’t think it was possible TonyP. At some point this season we’re going to probably run an outfield that consists of Sappelt, dejesus, and Bourgisvec (butchered spelling sorry), hard to get excited this season.

            1. TonyP

              I remain optimistic until the regular season and we play at a .400 wining percentage… But you are probably right….

              1. scorecardpaul

                if there is a silver lining, and our season has to suck anyway….
                maybee this will give our flipable assests more time to improve their trade value before the trade deadline. Lets face it, a starting pitcher is worth more than a midle relief guy??

              2. Cubs1967

                28 of first 41 games vs winning record teams from 2012. Sounds like 10-18 vs them; 6-7 vs rest makes the team 16-25; right on pace for 100 losses again.

                Go cubs go….. We’re just chill in’ till 2016.

                1. BT

                  I guess they shouldn’t even bother to play the games.

      2. Pat

        Don’t tell him what to do

  6. Jeff

    I wonder if MLB is required to show Yankee, Detroit, Philadelphia and Angels spring training games? There are still 26 other teams aren’t there? Getting sick of seeing the same teams over and over again. Well, I guess we wouldn’t be seeing Garza anyway. Guess it’s time to cut bait on Garza, can we cut him during spring training and save the 10M? Really tired of this revolving Garza on the DL, Kyle, he’s way worse than Ian Stewart.

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      Yeah just cut him. Real smart

      1. npnovak

        Wouldn’t the Cubs still have to pay him if they cut him? I’m pretty sure most MLB contracts are guaranteed

        1. Jeff

          “The Cubs do face some decisions regarding Stewart. His $2 million contract is non-guaranteed, which is not unusual for an arbitration-level player, but there is a March 16 deadline. If the Cubs decide at that date that Stewart isn’t ready, they can release him and will be obligated to pay one-sixth of his salary ($333,333). If he’s released after that date and before the regular-season opener, the Cubs would owe Stewart $500,000.”

          That’s from MLB Chicago Cubs site…Just curious why Stewart’s contract is non-guaranteed but Garza’s is. I’m assuming it’s because we didn’t offer arbitration to Stewart but we did re-sign him and he’s technically an arbitration eligible player.

          Call me crazy but why would you not guarantee a 2M contract but you would guarantee a 10M contract, isn’t the 10M contract more risky? Just bad decision making by this front office, we are throwing money at somebody whose not dependable.

          Just getting sick and tired of Garza being hurt, I have more understanding for Stewart, he’s only a 2M contract, we are not wasting 10M like we are on Garza.

          1. Drew7

            Stewart was non-tendered, which made him a FA. He was then brought back o a non-guaranteed deal. Non-tendering Garza would have been a bad decision by the FO*.

            *if that’s how it works – I make no claim of being an expert on this.

            1. Jeff

              ” Non-tendering Garza would have been a bad decision by the FO*.”

              I’m really beginning to wonder….I think when you look at this year and last, It’s collectively a waste of almost $20M.

              1. hansman1982

                Garza’s contract, I believe, would have the same status as Stewart’s, non-guarranteed until Opening Day.

                Now the question is, why on earth would you want to non-tender Garza, or even cut him in Spring Training? With Stewart you have a justifiable reason (health), with Garza, it would just be a dumb move and would piss off the MLBPA.

                1. Jeff

                  Same reason, health! I bet Garza doesn’t get 15 starts with the Cubs before he is traded and like Dempster you all will be shocked at how little he will be traded for.

                  1. hansman1982

                    Stewart’s injury history >^infinity Garza’s injury history.

                    Also, as Brett said, baseball reasons. Meaning suckitde. That would be hard to argue with Garza.

    2. DarthHater

      I know! The Cubs could surgically remove one of Garza’s hamstrings and give it to Castro. Then remove one of his quads and give it to Stewart, etc. At least then they would get something back from their investment… /sarcasm :-P

    3. Danimal8

      ^ Not this…silly

      1. Danimal8

        I meant the first post, not yours Hater

      2. DarthHater

        Gee, and I thought it was such a great proposal . . . :-/

        1. DarthHater

          Oops ;-)

  7. Doug

    Wow…Big surprise!

  8. Pat

    I’m sure it’s just precautionary.

  9. JR

    Matt Garza makes Greg Oden seem durable.

  10. spencer

    There should be a rule in the NBA, NFL, and MLB that if a player is injured for whatever length they should be paid 25% of what they would’ve made if healthy. Derrick Rose is pocketing $16 million this season and he probably won’t play a single game. Same goes for A-Rod, Garza last yr, and countless others. Just my .02

  11. njcubbie

    The Garza trade is looking like another “worst ever” for the Cubs. Five prospects, several of whom played last year and have a great future for two guys the Cubs dumped soon after wards and a supposed star pitcher who is never well enough to pitch. No wonder there was a front office house cleaning. What were they thinking?

    1. Jp3

      He’s awesome on Twitter though… Must be all the free time

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      ? The only prospect exchanged for Garza who probably has a great future is Archer. HJLee probably will not hit enough to be more than a utility infielder, and the other guys are already too old to have much in the way of futures.

      That said, it would be nice to still have Archer!

      1. Bric

        I recall Hendry saying that the only untouchable player possible in the trade at the time was McNutt. And so Archer was sent to the Rays. Too bad he didn’t realize the Rays’ plan was for Archer all along. Not because they knew they could get him, but because if Hendry wanted to keep McNutt that clearly meant Archer was the better of the two. Hence their record of evaluating and developing pitchers in relation to his.

      2. #1lahairfan

        Hak Ju Lee is a safe bet to be an everyday shortstop for some team.

        1. Drew7

          In the Southern League, maybe.

          No player turning in a sub-.7 OPS in AA is a “sure thing to be an everyday SS for some team”, no matter how good his glove is.

      3. Luke

        I wouldn’t concede that Archer clearly has a great future yet. His control seems to come and go, and until we’re certain it is here to stay there will be some risk with Archer.

        I thought the Garza trade was fairly even at the time, and I still think it was fairly even a couple of years later.

        And keep in mind that the jury is still out on Zach Rosscup. He’s no where near Archer on the prospect scale, but he’s pretty decent lefty pitching prospect in his own right as a mid-to-back-of-the-rotation candidate guy. He’s still a few years away, but there is definitely major league potential there.

        1. #1lahairfan

          I completely forgot about Zach Rosscup

        2. AB

          Rosscup is only 24 and has thrown only 80 innings the last two years.

          I’d his roster spot at AA or AAA is far from secure.

          1. Luke

            Rosscup has been fighting an arm injury since mid-2011. So far as I can tell, though, he’s healthy this spring and in line for 100 or so innings. If he stays healthy he should finish the year no lower than Tennessee. This will be the first year in which we are really able to get much of a look at him.

            1. AB

              “If he stays healthy”

              That’s a big if considering Rosscup’s career high in innings pitched in four years in the minors is a whopping 49.

  12. Die hard

    Mark Prior redux- why aren’t we surprised?-as stated previously by me and others his mechanics are wrong as he’s an arm thrower

  13. Die hard

    Another concern – The WBC will lead to MLB expansion beyond borders and then we can say goodbye to Soler and others not born within our borders – could happen as soon as 3 yrs away when he’s in his prime

  14. JWS

    Soler is under contract for 9 yrs.

    1. Die hard

      His contract and all others of such players have opt out if this expansion occurs

      1. DarthHater

        Can Brett, Luke, or anybody else with a little credibility confirm this assertion and/or supply any further details about any such contract opt-out provisions?

        1. scorecardpaul

          die harder just tries to get a rise out of people, learn to take his postings as such. You would be much better off either skipping his posts, or just reading them and laughing to yourself!!

          1. DarthHater

            Well, stating idiotic opinions to get a rise out of people is one thing. You’re probably right that it’s best to just ignore that kind of crap. But making false factual assertions about player contracts (if that’s what this is) is more serious and I think such assertions should be verified, rather than ignored. Also, even a broken clock is right twice a day (at least if it’s just a stopped analog clock). Or, perhaps a better analogy: if enough chimps type for a long enough time, one of them may eventually type something true. ;-)

            1. Die hard

              You don’t think he opts out as is his right if expansion would allow him to make twice as much- now who’s being idiotic?

              1. DarthHater

                I didn’t say that he wouldn’t opt out. Your original comments were worded in a muddled way that seemed to suggest some kind of opt-out provision tied to international expansion. I therefore sought clarification from people who are capable of cogently articulating a complete thought. That clarification has now been provided. Thank you, Pat and cubchymyst.

        2. Pat

          Not Brett, and I have no credibility, but Soler does have an opt out when he reaches arbitration. So his contract is essentially whatever time he spends in the minors and three years of MLB play, assuming he chooses to exercise the option.

        3. cubchymyst

          I believe there is an opt-out option but he then goes to regular arbitration so the cubs would still have him under contract for all of his arbitration years.

      2. Luke

        I have never heard any claims about a broad based, all inclusive opt out that would allow all internationally born players to leave their current team should MLB ever expand over seas.

        Furthermore, I cannot imagine MLB ever agreeing to such a ridiculous clause regardless of what concessions the union asked.

        And finally, I can’t see the largely US-player controlled union pushing hard for a clause that would literally result in the potential dissolution of virtually every team should MLB finally expand into other markets.

        Soler can opt out of his contract when he reaches arbitration, but he would still then be bound by arbitration as has been stated by others. The statements by die hard that:

        “The WBC will lead to MLB expansion beyond borders and then we can say goodbye to Soler and others not born within our borders” and

        “His contract and all others of such players have opt out if this expansion occurs”

        is, to my knowledge, an outright fabrication. Until someone pulls up some hard evidence in support of this nonsense, I suggest it be classified along with fake moon landings and reptilians in the government.

        1. DarthHater


      3. Mak

        That is false on every level.

      4. Danimal8

        I am enjoying the assumption that the supposed “Cuban Baseball Division” will hypothetically out-spend the Cubs and aquire a Cuban defector in the near future. Clown shoes

  15. Jono

    Hendry is still hurting this team. What a dumbasses trade.

    1. DB Kyle

      The only dumb mistake here was not trading Garza last spring.

      1. Pat

        Agreed. Garza had a fantastic first year and actually raised his value despite having a year less of team control. It wasn’t Hendry who failed to trade him a peak value on a team that wasn’t going anywhere in the next couple of years anyway.

        1. Lou

          Especially if the plan was as transparent from the get go is to build with a core (seemingly younger) group of players going forth. That was NEVER Hendry’s plan anyway.

          1. DB Kyle

            The bizarrely short-term memory of Cubs fans about Jim Hendry astounds me.

            The core Jim Hendry put together in his early days with the Cubs was more highly thought of than the one Epstein is working on right now.

            1. Lou

              At the end, though, when the Garza trade occurred it really wasn’t. Sorry, I should have specified my statement to be reflective on the time the Garza trade occurred.

              1. Lou

                not on *of

            2. hansman1982

              To be fair to both men, when Hendry took over he had been working in the Cubs system for a number of years helping to build that core.

              Let’s see how it compares at the end of the season.

  16. Jono

    I know its illogical to be mad at a player for getting injured, but that’s how I feel

  17. ruby2626

    soler’s opt-out I believe is for arbitration, not unrestricted free agency. That was a good clause for him, makes sure he makes a fair value. If he is as good as expected 9 years for $30M would have shorted him millions.

    1. Jp3

      “I believe diversity was an old wooden ship”

  18. notcubbiewubbie


  19. Bill

    The Garza no trade falls under the category of The Theo Curse. Look at what the Theo Curse has done to Bos the past 2 years. Ouch.

    1. frank

      Do two World Championships come along with that curse?

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      Theo didn’t cause all of (or even any of) the injuries to Boston’s starting pitchers. That and that alone is the source of Boston’s problems over the last year and one month of baseball. (Remember, the Sox were the best team in MLB until their pitchers went down in late ’11: and that was Theo’s doing.)

      1. Theo Epstein

        Thanks for having my back.

        1. JR

          I’m curious why Theo gets credit and blame for everything Cub related. He is the President of Baseball Operations, and I know everything is under his watch. But to me it seems normally when teams get talked about the GM is the person who is judged not the President. So why does Hoyer rarely get mentioned, and Theo always does? For example there has been a ton of talk of Kevin Towers, Arizona’s GM trading anyone “who won’t run thru a wall” for less talent. Why aren’t people blaming Arizona’s President? I have no idea who their President is, just saying… Just curious more than anything.

          1. Hansman1982

            I would guess that Arizona doesn’t have a PBO in the same sense the cubs do. Theo is, in effect, the GM of the Cubs, he just got a fancy title so he could get a promotion coming here.

            The interesting thing is how people describe the 2011 Red Sox as this giant mess. Had Lucchino decided that it was more important to hire some decent pitching than a circus act manager, the 2012 Red Sox would have done very well.

            To put it another way, the mess that Theo walked into >^infinity than the mess that Cherington walked into.

            1. JR

              Cool, thanks Brett and Hansman. That makes sense.

              1. hansman1982

                Please note, when I started my reply, Brett hadn’t posted his yet. Don’t want to seem like an asshole.

                1. JR

                  No worries. I found both of your input helpful.

                2. Cedlandrum

                  Too Late you seem like an A-hole:)

                  1. hansman1982

                    It’s alright, I suppose. Being an asshole isn’t the worst thing I’ve been called on here lately.

  20. Curt

    well u know lots of things have changed under new ownership and management but one thing that had not changed is the under reporting of injuries “it’s a strain or tweak ” then it’s nothing serious then it’s a Dl stint, nothing new really here.

  21. Hee Seop Chode

    Does anyone else read “tightness” and think “out for season”?

  22. Die hard

    As stated often before watch Struck to stick

    1. Cub2014

      How hard does Struck throw?

  23. nkniacc13

    and with Perez out more than 4 weeks if Garza was healthy maybe they really could have traded him to texas before the season started

  24. AndyKat22

    At what point do we question Garza’s steroid use?

  25. Die hard

    Excuse me but the Arbitrator award results in no more than a one year non guaranteed contract which if the Cubs don’t want to pay then he’s gone

    1. DarthHater

      And as long as they don’t want him to leave, they can continue to go to arbitration year-by-year until the entire term of the deal runs out. Conversely, if he leaves because the team doesn’t want to pay him, then where’s the big problem?

      1. Die hard

        I give up….

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