Matt Garza “In Great Shape” After Elbow Injury
Great news coming from Cubs’ pitching coach Chris Bosio today stating that Matt Garza is not only back in good health, but he looks better than ever.
April 18, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza (22) against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
As you may remember, Garza missed a fair portion of the season last year due to a stress reaction in his throwing elbow. It also killed his trade value at the deadline which inhibited the Cubs’ ability to trade him for more building block players.
Although he is still theoretically being shopped, his value to the rotation in the early part of the seaosn is unquestionable. He is a vital 2-3 spot pitcher in the rotation at and from what Bosio is saying, he’s looking like he’s in better form than he was a year ago around spring training time.
"Matty looks like he is in great shape. It looks like he worked hard in the offseason. His legs are in great shape and I believe he is ahead of where he was last year when he reported."
Well then… that’s fantastic news. Sounds like Garza’s work ethic didn’t miss a beat during his down time and he actually took the initiative to improve himself without the distractions of playing time. It just goes to show the kind of focus and commitment that Garza brings to the team
Garza took to the mound yesterday in Mesa, Arizona in preparation for spring training and threw a 30-pitch bullpen style program. While 30 pitches doesn’t seem significant to a regular starter, he was pitching off the bump, which is considerably harder on the arm than pitching on level ground. Most notably, Garza said that the program was pain free which certainly impressed both Bosio and Jed Hoyer, who were both in attendance watching him throw.
Bosio certainly feels confident in Garza’s abilities and honesty with the training staff:
"Garza is on a program we put him on and at this point he is ahead of schedule. The communication I have had with our trainers indicate they are very happy where Matt is at in his program. As for me, I do not have any concerns at all for him. He has always been very honest about how he feels with us."
Paired with both Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson, Garza rounds out the top three rotation members, adding considerable depth to the team compared to just one season ago.
No doubt that Garza will be fighting hard for the ball on opening day and a good spring training campaign could land him the start.