Can Pitcher Injuries Ever Be Not Serious? and Other Bullets

matt garza chinThis week’s episode of the podcast has been imperiled by sickness and travel, so you are warned that there’s a chance that there won’t be an episode this week. A thousand apologies.

  • Dale Sveum joined Jed Hoyer in downplaying Matt Garza’s latest setback. Then again, Sveum also used the words “hope” and “dead arm whatever,” which still doesn’t engender a lot of confidence. I guess they can’t know for sure that it’s just dead arm until Garza throws again, but I’ll remain anxious until he does. Garza reportedly already felt better yesterday, and could play catch in the next few days.
  • Jeff Samardzija cut his right index finger on a comebacker from the first batter yesterday (though, from my seats, I couldn’t tell why the trainer came out to see him), but he pitched through it and says it’s no big deal. He called it a “baby cut” and more an “aesthetic” issue.
  • As I mentioned yesterday, the Cubs/Rangers game that was rained out earlier this month has been rescheduled for Monday, May 6 at 7:05pm CT. The Cubs concurrently announced that two previously TBA’d Friday games have been set for 1:20pm CT (June 7 and June 21). This is notable because, as you’ll recall, the Cubs’ night game proposal included up to six Friday 3:05pm CT starts, which is clearly why these games had originally been listed as TBA. The City Council hasn’t even yet voted on the night game issue, and the Cubs are already abandoning these two games as possible 3:05 starts. A bad sign? Maybe. Maybe it’s just the Cubs showing good faith so that they can get the three remaining Friday TBA’s in July and August as 3:05 starts.
  • Jesse Rogers takes a closer look at Carlos Villanueva’s latest gem, including a discussion of his many offspeed offerings.
  • The Kane County Cougars are hosting their annual Ozzie’s Home Run and Walk 5K on Saturday, May 18 at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark. The race benefits the Cougars’ charity, and starts and ends at the ballpark (as in, it ends at home plate, which is pretty cool). There will be food and fun activities (if you’ve never been to a 5K, The Wife drags me takes me to them all the time, and I actually find them to be a heck of a lot of fun, even though I’m not running), and there’s a nice bonus grab bag for the first 300 folks to register. Here are the full details, including how you can register. It’s $25 for adults, and $12 for kids age 5 to 12.
  • Kerry Wood emphasizes that the Wrigley Renovation is key to landing free agents in the future, thanks to the hilariously bad facilities that exist there currently. (Money would help also.)
  • Thanks to Carrie and Shaun on this one: Scott Baker, after his Tommy John recovery setback, is expected to re-start a throwing program at the end of this month. That would make your absolutely, positively most optimistic return time-table for him the second half of June (four weeks of throwing, three to four weeks of simulated games/rehab starts). I wouldn’t expect him until after the All-Star break, though. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
  • Dale Sveum says there’s no closer controversy on the Cubs, because there’s no obvious closer. This remains the right approach, at least until Kyuji Fujikawa returns from the DL, presumably throwing as well as he’s supposed to.
  • Paul Sullivan answers questions, and, if the questioners were a representative sample of Cubs fans, you would have to think every Cubs fan is very angry.
  • You’ve got one more day to enter the BN fantasy contest, by the way. (Full details here.)

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

132 responses to “Can Pitcher Injuries Ever Be Not Serious? and Other Bullets”

  1. Idaho Razorback

    Damn. I was just about to ask if there was a podcast today.

  2. Dynastyin2016

    Are BN’er Kyle and Pail Sullivan the same person?

    1. Dynastyin2016


    2. Ron

      A half empty pail? Yes.

  3. Idaho Razorback

    As far as running a 5K, the last time I ran was when someone was chasing me.

    1. Stinky Pete

      And I said, “Fine, Lady. Keep your purse.”

  4. hansman1982

    I am sure that Pauly chooses his mailbag questions to ensure that the Cubs fan base is properly represented.

    1. JulioZuleta

      He’s all about integrity and not about creating a spectacle…

      1. hansman1982

        Journalism at it’s finest on display. I really don’t understand why people are not buying his product. The man is our version of William Cronkite.

        1. JulioZuleta

          I stopped reading him a while ago, but I can tell he’s only gotten worse by his tweets.

        2. The Dude Abides

          Who’s William Cronkite? Is he related to Walter?

          1. DarthHater

            Kenneth, what is the frequency?

          2. Wilbur

            His not so honest cousin …

    2. Morken

      Why are you fat?

      1. bbmoney

        Is this high school? Sheesh.

        1. Morken

          No. He’s just fat.

          1. bbmoney


          2. JulioZuleta


            1. JulioZuleta

              Bahhh, almost got it that time.

              1. DarthHater

                Flow with the Force you must, if a Jedi you would be. ;-)

                1. JulioZuleta

                  Hah, do you have an alert set for memes/pictures? Your first post of the day is comes within about 5 seconds of the first picture posted of the day.

                  1. DarthHater

                    You really don’t understand the Force, do you. ;-)

                    1. DarthHater

                      . ==> ?

                    2. JulioZuleta

                      Much guidance I need.

                    3. DarthHater

                      Embrace your anger, you must. If this difficult you find. Read a few of morken’s posts, you should. :-P

                  2. Morken


                    1. bbmoney

                      Just keeps getting better.

                      At least your Garza trade post below had something to do with baseball instead of just absurd, annoying personal attacks.

                    2. DarthHater


                    3. bbmoney

                      I just spit coffee all over my computer.

                    4. JulioZuleta

                      Darth, Morken’s post was begging for “Morken, I am your father” meme…I’m a little disappointed you missed that one.

          3. hansman1982


          4. DarthHater

            Yes, but hans will someday be thin (or at least less fat), whereas you will always be execrable.

            1. hansman1982

              no…my fatness is graphed below:


              Btw, according to the dates on this chart, “today” is “1960″ and my death occurs in 1987.

              1. hansman1982

                dang, fail:

            2. hansman1982

              try, try again:


        2. mjhurdle

          high school? more like 5th grade.
          high school was much more creative with their insults

      2. hansman1982

        really? That’s just lazy trolling.

        1. Morken

          Just stop being fat.

          1. Carew

            I’m fat and I’m proud

            1. Morken

              You hate yourself.

              “I eat too much because I’m unhappy.

              I’m unhappy because I eat too much.”

              1. Carew

                I like food, it tastes gud

      3. hansman1982


        When all else fails…just reply to a random post that will allow your image to be displayed triumphantly!

  5. Rcleven

    The Garza story is getting quite old. The truth is the Cubs have really not missed him. I am more surprised more complaints aren’t made about the Cubs anemic hitting and the lack of even making contact.
    On to Miami and the sweep.

    1. Wilbur

      Agree with the analysis, but did you mean you expect them to sweep us or we sweep them …

  6. Xoomwaffle

    Wait being mad that we have Edwin Jackson from now until 2016 instead of Paul Maholm just for this year is a thing?

    1. BT

      Apparently. Sullivan tries to make it worse by insinuating that we are paying Jackson’s entire 54 million this year.

      1. hansman1982

        It’s like that Chicago Now article about the video board the other day…

        DAMN THE FACTS, Full narrative ahead!

  7. Idaho Razorback

    I asked yesterday and got no response. If Garza misses a majority of the season or the whole season will we tender him at the end of the year?

    1. CubFan Paul

      $14M is a big gamble to in injured player.

      I think this ends with him getting surgery. All this “rest” obviously isn’t healing what they’re not telling us.

    2. Rcleven

      Even if Garza does not make pitch one for the Cubs this season I would still tender him. Worse case he is in the rotation next season. Best case he chooses free agency and goes to another team and pick Cubs pick up another first rounder. Another 13 1/2 MM won’t kill the Cubs next season.

  8. Morken

    Garza is unlikely to come close to attaining his peek value of last season. The Cubs should of pulled the trigger on a trade, last season.

    1. Dynastyin2016

      What Garza trade did we turn down?

      1. Morken

        Teams were fawning over Garza; the Dodgers in paticular. The Cubs slow-played the processe and got burned.

        1. Dynastyin2016

          Okay. I didn’t read that on any of the sites covering the trade deadline last year. I still wonder what they were offered. Maybe it wasn’t what Garza was worth at that point in time. Enlighten me with names the Dodgers offered.

          1. JulioZuleta

            It was all speculation. Also, it’s generally not the most advisable plan to make a trade 2 weeks before the deadline. Teams’ offers tend to go up as it gets down to the wire, he had no injury history. It’s ridiculous to criticize them for having him throw one more start while waiting for teams to submit final offers. He had almost no injury history. It was just a freak, unlucky thing.

            1. hansman1982

              It’s the Cubs Way. Both the injury and the subsequent bitching about the “Trade that Never Was”.

            2. Dynastyin2016

              I agree, Julio. Morken made it sound like we were going to get LA’s entire farm system or something. I am just challenging him to be more specific when he makes a comment. It was just bad luck. That happens.

              1. Morken

                There were reports of a Webster deal.

                Garza would have nabbed a top pitching project from most organizations.

                The Cubs had a ton of tradable assets(Dempster, Soriano, Maholom, Johnson, Soto, etc). So waiting until the deadline to trade them all – when you take into account the time it takes to complete a trade – makes zero sense.

                1. Morken

                  In fact, on the same day that Dempster was traded, I believe news outlets – including this site – reported that a Garza/Lee deal was consummated.

                  1. MightyBear

                    Which Lee?

                    1. Morken

                      Zach Lee/Dodgers

                    2. MightyBear

                      Oh damn, that would’ve been nice.

                  2. DarthHater

                    This site never reported that a Garza/Lee deal was consummated.

                    1. DarthHater

                      Of course, I suppose you have no clue what “consummated” means, so that might explain it…

                  3. BT

                    Morken also runs a great website telling you what stocks you should have bought yesterday.

                  4. DocPeterWimsey

                    The Dodgers were pretty adamant about hanging onto Lee: by most accounts, multiple teams were interested in him. The Other 28 GMs rule comes to mind here.

                    1. hansman1982

                      Ya, that he survived the Ramirez AND Boston-Mega Trade, says a lot of what the Dodgers think of him.

        2. Rcleven

          Teams still are. Texas still needs another starter. With Billingsley down there is a opening there. Who knows who will be in it at the trade deadline. Garza still has appeal. He doesn’t even have to be lights out. All he has to show he can still be somewhat effective. There will be plenty of suitors.

  9. mjhurdle

    Just spent 5 minutes reading Paul Sullivan’s Q/A article, and now am sad that I just wasted 5 minutes of my life that I will never get back.
    None of the answers given had any sort or weight behind them. I could grab a random Cub fan and they could have done as well or better at answering those questions.
    That is exactly why i love BleacherNation so much.
    I don’t always agree with the opinions offered here by Brett, or others, but the opinions are backed up with reasoning.

    1. hansman1982

      It seems to be a common theme amongst beat writer mailbags. Keep hammering down whatever point you want to hammer down and select the questions that best do that.

      I’ve often wondered what I’m missing by not straying far from BN, Paul just shouted “NOT MUCH” in his best Will Farrell impression.

    2. mjhurdle

      Paul definitely has a man-crush on Maholm. But for every reference of how much he would rather have Maholm than Jackson, he doesn’t address the fact that the rotation is not the issue with the Cubs. How many more wins would the Cubs have with Maholm as opposed to Jackson? He talks about money saved being spent elsewhere, but what options for the bullpen did the Cubs not get only because they didn’t have the money?
      But i am sure he will be the first one praising the trade if Vizcaino comes back and performs well in the bullpen this year.
      It reminds me of ‘trick plays’ in football. When they work, the coach is a genius and has the courage to make the tough decisions. If it doesn’t, the coach is clueless and needs to be fired. too much hindsight-based second-guessing going on right now.

      1. hansman1982

        “It reminds me of ‘trick plays’ in football.”

        It reminds me of every decision that is made in sports.

        Let’s say Castro flames out of baseball this year, his extension will be called foolish because of his inability to walk. The manager “let’s a starter work through a rough spot” but the starter get’s shelled and the Manager was clueless that his starter was toast. The manager pulls the starter and the BP gives it up, he is dumb for pulling the starter too soon.

        The brilliance of the coaching decision rarely depends on the brilliance of the coach.

  10. fortyonenorth

    Brett – where do you put the odds on Garza never throwing another game as a Cub?

  11. Jay

    Garza’s arm could be falling off his body and attached only with Elmer’s Glue and but we’d never hear about it.

  12. cub4life


    Who do you think will be removed from the active roster when guys come back?

    Stewart – (I think maybe Ransom or Sappelt, but leaning to Sappelt)
    Fujikawa – ??
    Garza – ??

    the other 2 guys are way down the road so any number of things could happen but if all stays the same
    Baker – ??
    Clevenger – ??

    There are so many guys on the team they want to keep for different reasons to either trade them this summer or let them hold a spot til some one in the minors is ready to take it…..but at this moment i just don’t see which direction until then……..

    Oh and just my opinion there is no way that I would start Valbuena over Stewart (unless he comes back and is completely worthless)…..I mean the only thing that Valbuena does well is take a walk….he has no power, will never hit for average and is no better then anyone else on the roster at a defensive 3B……Now this is just my opinion and I really don’t have number to back it up other then the numbers that have already been shown on this site….

    Thanks for the time and again thanks for the best way to keep up with this comings and goings of everything Chicago Cubs.

  13. JulioZuleta

    If it is only “dead arm,” it’s not the end of the world. That’s a pretty common Spring Training issue for starting pitchers as they get back into the swing of things. This is essentially his Spring Training. We’ll see if they actually have him throwing in a couple days.

  14. Stevie B

    This season, along with Garza’s arm is fubar.
    At least we have the draft to look forward to….right…??

  15. Rich

    I like those 5K’s we call them WARM-UP’s….

    c’mon, if you cannot jog a little over 3 miles, you’re out of shape!

    1. bbmoney

      ha. Warm-ups. Nice.

  16. Stinky Pete

    Don’t believe this “travel and sickness” nonsense. That’s just the cover. The real reason for no podcast is because I didn’t send an email. You heard the truth hear first.

    1. hansman1982

      No, no, no, I sent Brett a certified email outlining how his podcast sucks but they are ignoring me!

      Detailed 97-page plan on how to make their podcast the best in the world and nothing. In fact, they are probably still reading it and devising a way to subtly shift from their current format to my format!

      1. DarthHater

        He won’t read all that. You need to include a DVD.

        1. hansman1982

          I sent an HD DVD…think he’ll be able to read that?

          1. Jp3

            Good to know that if Brett tries to steal your ideas your mom has a copy of the original under her bed

            1. hansman1982

              I never gave her one…what are you saying?????????

              (That would be, perhaps, the most epic of all yo momma jokes)

      2. The Full Monty

        Instead of mocking me and my vision (which u
        Lack any of) you should jump on a treadmill
        And try fixing up your ugly wife’s face

        You are not just a troll on the inside
        But the outside as well

        1. Carew

          That was possibly one of the worst responses I’ve read

        2. BT

          so now you are making fun of his wife, who hasn’t said a word to you? Nifty.

        3. DarthHater


  17. Stinky Pete

    $%#$% *here

  18. DarthHater

    Samardzija needs to wear a bloody glove, so he can be famous like Schilling.

    1. Morken


  19. Peter

    I fucking hate Matt Garza, what a pussy. Maybe we could get some of that big league chew gum if we trade him at the half because that asshole will probably not even pitched until then. Fuck this guy, why sign him to anything? He is still going to command around 10 million a year anyway and he is not worth even half of that.

    1. DarthHater

      Tom Tango, meet Peter Poontang. :-P

  20. Randy

    I have to laugh at all of you who want to rip on the media. Give it a shot some time and write atricles. Pretty sure Paul Sullivan and the rest are doing pretty well working at one of the top markets in the country. Always easy to think you can do better.. Dip shits..

    1. hansman1982

      It’s not that most of us think we can do better, we can just spot crap when we see it.

      But I do think I could do no worse than what Sullivan does if it were my full-time job (and shit, Brett does a billion-times better job and he doesn’t even work in one of the top markets in the country)

      1. Randy

        Well, realize that all beat writers dont sit around and write blogs all day long. They also have a word limit on stories. It is kind of irritating that this site can take all the stories that are written by other writers and then comment on them. Here is a thought ot go out and get your own stories. So I guess its safe to say you rally do need the beat writers to gather your information.

        1. DarthHater

          You’re obviously a butthurt reporter. If your job’s so f-ing hard, why don’t you go do it, instead of hanging out here whining and playing victim?

          1. Morken


            You are the corniest motherfucker on the planet.

            1. DarthHater

              Why don’t you stick to making clever quips about abortion clinics, Poindexter?

              1. Morken


              2. hansman1982

                and rape…quips about rape.

                1. Morken

                  Your poor heart.

                  1. hansman1982

                    I am on a bypass machine…my heart gave up a long time ago.

          2. Randy

            you know I think you are right! I will find a sight where there isnt a clown like you. I never said the job is hard, I am not a reporter but a former newspaper owner. I know how hard it is to do the job while others rip on them such as yourself. I can surely tell you know more about baseball than a reporter who is with the team on daily basis. Later Brett hope you continue to do well on this site. I will stick to less assholes.

            1. mjhurdle

              In your first post you ended it by calling everyone “dip-sh#ts”.
              Just my opinion, but that is a type of behavior exhibited by the ###holes you seem to despise so much.
              My advice on your journeys toward an ###hole free site, if you treat others with more respect, you may find them treating you with more respect as well, and then the number of ###holes around will diminish.

            2. TWC

              “I will stick to less assholes.”

              Hey, Newspaper Man: the correct word here would be “fewer”.

              I won’t charge you for that little bit of copyediting.

              1. Alex S

                It’s also ‘site’ not ‘sight’

                1. TWC

                  Heh. You oughta charge for that one.

    2. JulioZuleta

      There are plenty of good reporters out there, great ones. Sullivan, however, is clearly burnt out and hasn’t offered anything of value in years. If by “go out and get your own stories” you mean hear something and take it way out of context in an attempt to grab cheap headlines, you’re right, I could never be as good as Sullivan.

      1. Randy

        Maybe you all should quit reading papers and see where you get all your information from.

        1. hansman1982

          Papers are in their worst period ever, yet there is more information available about the world, then ever before.


        2. JulioZuleta

          Isn’t the problem that EVERYONE has quit reading newspapers?

        3. justinjabs

          It has been at least a year and a half since I got information from a newspaper. The industry is dying. It’s unfortunate. I used to aspire to be a ‘journalist’, to write for a newspaper, to see my byline in print. But news through social media and online websites such as Bleacher Nation represent the future. Paul Sullivan, with his grumpy plagiarism accusations, represents the dying breed.

          I have gone out and written articles, granted it was for a dying college paper, but I still needed to talk to university officials, slimy corrupt student politicians, and other sources who ‘had the story’. The only thing separating skilled bloggers like Brett and ‘journalists’ is access; their ability to talk to these players and executives directly. And have something to support that full-time commitment.

          Reputable bloggers will have access one day, and that will be the final nail.

    3. mjhurdle

      I guess i should apologize for assuming that Paul’s article wasn’t that great. After going back and reading it again (another 5 minutes of my life that i won’t get back), i realized how bad my assumption was.
      His answers were obviously thought out and researched to a level that us normal people are not capable of duplicating.
      For instance, his answer to the Cubs fielding issues (Feldman in particular):
      “I’m not sure how to answer this. I watched them practice the fundamentals in spring training. When it comes to the actual game, they lack consistency. Perhaps Feldman is a poor fielder.”

      No way i could, with my lack of experience, come close to replicating that piece of journalistic gold.

      1. hansman1982

        I know when I read that, I learned something new.

        Paul got an all expenses paid vacation to Arizona in February and March.

    4. BT

      Good point Randy. And I guess Lillibridge doesn’t suck because he’s a better baseball player than me, right? And no President has ever been bad, because it’s tough to run the country, so don’t mock them until you’ve tried it sometime. And there are no bad rock bands because, hey, how many songs have I written that have been on the radio? Milli Vanilli were completely talented, and if anyone disagrees, they should try dancing in an MTV video sometime, right?

      Paul Sullivan sucks because he sucks in the context of what he is being paid to do, not because he is better than sports message board writers. If that is the bar you judge people on, then God help you.

      And dipshits is one word, not two.

  21. Idaho Razorback


    Journalism at it’s finest on display. I really don’t understand why people are not buying his product. The man is our version of William Cronkite.

    Was William, Walter’s older or younger brother?

    1. hansman1982

      Twin sister.

  22. Rich


    I am crying…that is so funny….

  23. Idaho Razorback

    Good point Randy. After all, Sullivan could be writing for my papers. The Coerd d’ Alene Press or the Spokesman Review out of Spokland, I mean Spocompton, I mean Spokane.

  24. Idaho Razorback

    Misspell: Coeur d’ Alene. Damn French.

  25. Aaron

    I cannot imagine what Dale is going through on a daily basis. To know that there is a very good chance that you are going to lose that day’s ball game, and tomorrow’s, is not a good place to be in. The reason why the Cubs’ leadership chose Dale is his willingness and fortitude to take a daily beating, which is a shame. He deserves better. They should have put a better roster for him to at least have a fighting chance to win.

  26. Jono

    Ugh, more Garza talk. I wish he would get REALLY injured and automatically miss the entire season. That way we don’t have to hear about his consistent set backs

  27. willis

    Maybe Garza can play catch in a few days? That sounds downright shitty. This whole Garza injury mess is giving me Prior/Wood nightmares. Expecially with the bullshit beinig handed out to the fans from the FO (which, I can’t blame them at all for that, I’ve just seen this play before). Push back push back push back…getting lame. I’ll admit I wanted to keep and extend him vs. trade him. I’m starting to think I was very wrong about that. He’s a china doll and damaged goods. Hell he can’t even get through a 2 inning sim without coming up with a new ailment. This is getting downright silly. I’m guessing at least early June before we see him, if at all. Which is too bad because he’d add another very good starter to this bunch.

  28. Closers, Gay Teammates, Camp’s Struggles, Baez’s Award and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] that minor cut on his index finger has impeded Jeff Samardzija’s between-start preparations. It still doesn’t sound [...]

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