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matt garza cubsThe first formal step in Matt Garza’s return to the mound happened today in Mississippi, as Garza made his first rehab start for the Tennessee Smokies, the Cubs’ AA affiliate. He pitched into the third inning before reaching his pitch limit (45, but he finished the final batter he faced at 42 pitches, so that ended his day). He threw 27 strikes out of 42 pitches, and allowed three baserunners, all in the second inning.

Garza’s first inning was a quick seven pitches, but he ran into some trouble in the second, walking the first two batters of the inning. After a double play grounder, Garza allowed a single (in a three-ball count), which scored a run.

His final line was 2.2 innings, 1 hit, 2 BB, 1 ER, and 0 K.

Remember: the results really don’t matter here. This is Garza’s Spring Training, and he’s coming back from dual injuries, to boot. That means he’s working on getting his arm into shape, he’s working on location, he’s working on pitches – and mostly, he’s just trying to throw a bit to batters to see how he feels tomorrow. What matters is that the velocity looks normal for a first start, and it did. Garza worked in the high-80s, which is just fine for his first time out (and at least one reputable source suggests the gun in Mississippi is a few MPH slow).

Assuming Garza does feel well, he’ll continue starting on a normal schedule – every five days – until he’s made three or four rehab starts and the Cubs feel he’s ready to go at the big league level. That could come as soon as mid-to-late-May.

  • King Jeff

    I take that he threw to his pitch limit as a good sign. I’ll start to worry about velocity and location when he’s done with two or three more of these sessions.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Exactly.

  • Cubbie Blues

    A bit off topic, but I’ve always wondered where the players stay while on rehab. Do they stay in hotels the whole time? Or, does the club have a house or two in which they put the players up in?

    • King Jeff

      I don’t think that very many rehabbing players travel with the team, they are either rehabbing at home, in the minors, or the teams Spring Training facilities.

      • Cubbie Blues

        But, Garza is now in TN. Where does a player like that stay? It would seem like a long time to be couped up in a hotel room. Over the long haul I could see the team saving money by owning a house or two to put them up in.

        • jdblades

          He flew back to Chicago after the game

    • bails17

      They stay in hotels while on rehab assignments. One rehab custom is that the Big Leaguer cater in dinner to the club house at least one time before he heads out of town. If he fails to do so…he is forever labeled a big dick!

  • bails17

    They stay in hotels while on rehab assignments. One rehab custom is that the Big Leaguer cater in dinner to the club house at least one time before he heads out of town. If he fails to do so…he is forever labeled a big dick!

    • bails17

      Don’t know why the double post..sorry!

  • ETS

    This news is swell.

  • Stevie B

    I just got a chubby….

  • Stevie B

    Setting my alarm so I can be first to see the ‘Gods Wrath” post by Brett tomorrow…

    • itzscott

      The Post of the Day Award!

    • Boogens

      Unfortunately that’s so funny because it hits so close to the bone.

    • Featherstone

      I can see the headline now. “Garza’s arm falls off, Theo and Jed not worried about case of detached arm syndrome.”

      • Spriggs

        …which of course is really not all that uncommon… blah, blah, blah.

  • King Jeff

    There is supposed to be a chat with Matt Garza on the Smokies website sometime today to talk about his start.

  • willis

    Hopefully he feels pretty good after this. His control was a little rusty but that’s to be expected. All I give a damn about is he saying that he feels good and is on schedule for his next start.

    His GB/FO ratio today was good today. 6-1.

  • 1ski

    Hey brett, matt gave you a shout out today on the score…….

  • mudge

    Hey hey, Uncle Dud, it’s a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi mud
    It’s a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi mud.

    Garza comes back strong & extends with Cubs.

  • MightyBear

    Here’s one while we are waiting on the game: MLBTR just posted that the top two arms are Appel and Gray. While noting that Houston needs pitching badly, they liked that they got a “twofer” last year by signing Correia under slot and using the money for other prospects down the draft. If the Astros pass on both Appel and Gray and the draft was today and assuming the Cubs could and would be able to sign whoever they drafted, who would you take and why?

    • TWC

      Yo, MB, did you not read the article posted the other day in which people debated Appel/Gray all day long? http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/04/29/cubs-draft-bits-gray-and-appel-dominating-a-couple-huge-college-bats-and-manaea-sliding/

      • MightyBear

        Yeah, most of it was how many f’ing pitches one threw as opposed to the other. Plus it assumed the Astros would take one and we would get the other and could we sign him, etc. I’m saying the Astros aren’t going to take either and we have to choose. Who would you choose? Instead of berating me, why don’t you answer the f’ing question.

        • TWC

          Berating you? It was a heads up, in case you hadn’t seen it. There’s at least a dozen folks on that article specifically mentioning which pitcher they’d prefer, as well as much ancillary discussion about their backgrounds (of which pitch counts are a valuable part).

          Or, you know, you could be a dick.

          • MightyBear

            Go fuck yourself.

            • TWC

              So it’s the latter. Cool.

            • Capitol Cubbie

              [img]http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/366/396/f8a.gif[/img]

              • MichiganGoat

                Perfect gif for this

                • Behind enemy lines (south side cub fan)

                  The GOAT stamp of approval means GREATEST OF ALL TIME

                  down low g-man ;)

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I don’t really understand how this exchange devolved as it did.

              For whatever it’s worth, although the Appel/Gray stuff has been discussed, I do plan to discuss that MLBTR piece at some point soon.

  • Die hard

    Garza is similar to Nats Strasburg in that both tend to sling the ball– both injured as often

  • Rcleven

    Smokies on Radio ‏@SmokiesonRadio 1h

    VIDEO: Smokies pitching coach Jeff Fassero talks about Matt Garza’s rehab start & where his next start will be. #Cubs http://wp.me/pMW4q-20J

    Pretty much pitch by pitch discription of Garzas outing.
    Next start. On to Iowa.

  • Jono

    BOOOOOO (im booing brett for bringing up the garza issue, not garza himself. Boo, brett. B000)

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