We learned yesterday/this morning that Matt Garza, who’s been out since July 21 with what was originally termed “triceps cramping,” was sent back to Chicago to be re-evaluated after experiencing “stiffness” in his arm.
If that wasn’t bad enough for you, allow me to make it worse. That re-evaluation revealed a “stress reaction” in the back of his elbow, and now Garza is out “indefinitely.”
To be level-headed about this, a “stress reaction” is not necessarily as bad as it sounds. And “indefinitely” is not necessarily as long as it sounds. But the former isn’t good, and the latter isn’t short. If you’re looking for a silver lining, the “back” of the elbow is not where you tend to hear about a UCL problem (that’s the ligament whose tearing requires Tommy John surgery). Further, given the Cubs’ position in the standings, and Garza’s importance to the organization, you can understand extreme caution.
If you’re looking for a crappy lining, Garza won’t be picking up a baseball for a couple weeks, and, at best, will maybe make just a few starts before the end of the season. At worst, he won’t start again this season.
From there, if the Cubs were looking to shop Garza this Winter, they’ll face the same problem they faced at the Trade Deadline: teams are not going to pony up big-time for a guy with arm problems. Whether the Cubs were itching to deal Garza or not, this injury could be disastrous. And that’s to say nothing of Garza’s future, which I also care about (I like the guy, and want to see him continue to pitch well, wherever that might be).
I’m sure we’ll have plenty more on this tomorrow, and as the weeks – the painful, painful weeks – go by.