There are so many injuries to update that it’s just makes more sense to do it this way …
- Matt Garza’s two-inning simulated start went off without a hitch yesterday, though Dale Sveum noted that Garza was a little rusty. The plan is to have him throw 45 pitches at AA Tennessee on Wednesday (April 24), and, if that goes well, make two more rehab starts (April 29, May 4) before returning to the Cubs. Getting Garza back by May 10-ish would be pretty great, all things considered.
- Ian Stewart’s rehab at Iowa is going fine, even if he doesn’t have a hit. The real problem has been the rain, which hasn’t allowed him to play consistently over a stretch of games. Dale Sveum says Stewart needs to get about a week straight of games in before he comes back to the Cubs. If all goes well, then, we could see Stewart back with the Cubs by the end of this month. Even though Luis Valbuena is playing fairly well at third, Stewart is expected to take over as the starter when he comes back.
- Kyuji Fujikawa threw off flat ground yesterday for the first time since hitting the DL with a forearm strain on April 13. If he can get back on the mound within a few days, he could be ready to come back when his DL stint is up at the end of April.
- We haven’t heard anything about Scott Baker’s checkup in Chicago this past week – the hope was that it was the final step before he could start throwing again. You’ll recall, in his first Spring appearance, coming back from Tommy John surgery, he felt some discomfort in his arm, and was shut down. Since then, we’ve heard very little, but there’s been no reason to project him to return before June. Well, Paul Sullivan writes that Baker is not expected back until after the All-Star break. If true, that would be news (even if it would be unsurprising). Until we hear that he’s throwing off of the mound, however, there’s no sense in projecting a return at any point whatsoever.
- Speaking of Tommy John recoveries pitching off of the mound, I’d like to hear an update about Arodys Vizcaino’s progress. He was never expected to join a team until a couple months into the season, but if that’s going to happen, he’d have to be throwing off of the mound with regularity in extended Spring Training these days.