The Chicago Cubs played with Friday when the team opted to start starting pitcher Ryan Dempster in light of the fact that they could have been closing in on a trade dealing the veteran starting pitcher to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Though, with the Cubs deciding to start Dempster it was clear that the team was not going to accept the current offer that was on the table for Dempster from the Dodgers.
Unlike with Dempster, the Cubs faced no obstacles in starting Matt Garza on Saturday night. While the Cubs do intend to trade Garza before the July 31 trade deadline, the Cubs would like to trade Dempster before they trade Garza. For that reason, the Cubs have yet to fully commit to trade discussions involving Garza.
Now, the Cubs are hoping that opportunity to trade Garza still exists.
During the third inning of Saturday’s game between the Cardinals and Cubs, there were runners on first and second with Skip Schumaker at the plate. Schumaker laid down a bunt that was fielded by first baseman Anthony Rizzo. As Rizzo was fielding the ball, Garza was running towards first base to cover the base. However, second baseman Darwin Barney made it to the base before Garza did. Rizzo threw the ball to Barney, all while Garza was still headed in the direction of first base. Replays showed that as Garza was trying to get out of the way of both the throw and the runner, it appeared that Schumaker may have slightly bumped into the pitcher’s wrist on his right hand.
Garza finished the third inning, but did not take the mound in the fourth inning. Though, for the time being, the Cubs front office can breath a sigh of relief as the injury does not appear to be serious.
While the Cubs breathed a sigh of relief when X-rays proved negative, Garza admitted he “could barely extend my arm.”
“I don’t know what the hell happened,” he said. “I’m just ticked off and frustrated because I felt like I had been throwing the ball well and something like this comes up. I’ve felt tightness before, but anything in your elbow area, as a pitcher, you get nervous. Chicago Tribune
Regardless of whether or not the Cubs had the intention of trading Garza, it is always a safe choice to be cautious with a 27 year old pitcher that can transform into your team’s ace. Though, that idea holds much more significance when the Cubs are trying to trade Garza. Garza had pitched three shutout innings before being pulled from game, and there were a handful of scouts that were on hand to watch Garza. Including the Los Angeles Dodgers, who reportedly have a renewed interest in Garza.
While the Cubs have listed Garza as day to day with right triceps cramping, Garza admitted that he could miss his next scheduled start and a trip to the disabled list has not been discredited just yet.
If (the injury) does hurt the team — what they had in mind — it’s not like I tried,” Garza said. “I’d rather go out there and throw eight or nine than come in here and say I can’t throw the ball.” Chicago Tribune
There should be no blame in this situation. The Cubs were not close to trading Garza, and for that reason, there was no reason for Garza not to make the start against the Cardinals on Saturday. Now, for the Cubs, the trouble comes if Garza can not make his next scheduled start. Garza is scheduled to start for the Cubs on Friday against the Cardinals. If Garza can not make that start, it would seem likely that Garza would not make another start before the July 31 trade deadline which would be that following Tuesday. While it is still very possible that the Cubs will trade Garza before the trade deadline, interested teams would likely want to see the 27 year old pitch before committing to a trade for the starting pitcher.
There will likely be more information on Garza at some point today, and hopefully, we hear that the cramping has subsided and Garza was able to throw a successful bullpen session.