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Matt Garza looks sharp in 2nd rehab outing

Matt Garza looks sharp in 2nd rehab outing
Matt Garza (photos by @gems38)

This is a special edition of our daily minor league recap. I was going to save this for later, but the Cubs are finally getting more and more good news from Matt Garza and I think his outing is newsworthy by itself.

Pitching for the Iowa Cubs today, Garza worked 3.1 innings but it was more about how he looked than his final line.

His fastball was at around 94 mph for the first couple of innings and he sustained his velo fairly well considering where he's at.  His last FB was clocked at 92 mph.  Garza also threw more secondary pitches than last time out, throwing an 85 mph "wipeout" slider as described by @gems38 (by the way, give him a follow if you are on twitter.  He did a great job reporting on Garza's rehab today).  Garza also threw his change up and used it effectively against two MLB hitters.  He  struck out Trevor Crowe looking with it and fooled Brett Wallace with a couple change-ups as well.

Garza also threw strikes and got ahead of hitters early.  In all he threw 54 pitches, 37 of them for strikes.  He didn't walk a batter and struck out 3 in 3.1 inning.  He was charge with one earne run when he left the game with a runner on first and he eventually came around to score.

The Cubs need help in all kinds of ways and nobody can bring an immediate impact more than Matt Garza.  We can also be sure there were plenty of scouts on hand to see him, so it appears right now that the Cubs should have plenty options for their hard-throwing RHP.

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  • Thank effing God.

    Last season's Garza injury was just so Cubs. Please let us at least get a consolation prize for him this year.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I have to think scouts were impressed today based on the radar readings, the use of his secondaries, and his good command.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, you just wonder how many starts he's going to need in the majors before teams are actually willing to deal for him. I can't imagine anyone will trade for him based on rehab appearances.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    I think they're most interested in whether he has velocity, command, and the ability to bounce back. They know when healthy, his stuff is good enough to get MLB hitters out. I don't know if they'll wait too long other than making sure he's healthy and can bounce back after a few starts. Now whether the Cubs can get a deal done quickly is a different story. They'll understandably hold out for value rather than sell low.

  • I like Matt Garza a lot. He's a good pitcher and I love his energy on the team. But considering the talent he could bring back, I say let teh bidding begin.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    I'm a fan too and I know where you're coming from. There's mixed emotion. He's a good pitcher, he's still pretty young, but the Cubs should sell if they get the chance to bring back multiple needed pieces.

  • As long as Garza is on the team - if healthy, that time will end by July 31st - Carlos Villanueva will be a wonderful addition to the pen. Easily an 8th inning guy.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    That is true. Garza's return will indirectly help the bullpen by virtue of having to demote a starter -- and one that is pitching well.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    At least you know Carlos V wont walk 3 and hit one in 4 batters, like you-know-who seems to do every 3rd time out.

  • This is a great development. I feel like I'd already just started pushing him out of the realm of possibilities this year. Just pictured him hanging out with Scott Baker somewhere. I have recently started imagining him sticking around after this year and kind of like it. A rotation with a front four of Large Mardj, Garza, (Appel or Gray), E-Jax, and generic Tommy John gamble (or prospect) sounds good. I realize it's a crystal ball-question John, but what sort of odds of do you give for Garza staying?

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    I think the chances of Garza staying are less than 50%.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Come to think, John, any news on Scott Baker?

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    I think T. Wood has a chance to stick in the rotation. He is a lefty and fairly young and still improving.

  • In reply to John57:

    Absolutely. Good call. I didn't mean to leave him out. I see him more back end though, not as a replacement for Garza.

  • John, who do you think gets DFA'd to make room for Sweeney, could it be Ian Stewart? He hasn't been in a game since he was optioned, which makes me think he was already DFA'd and is going through the waiver process.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I think it will be Loe who is released, for some reason this brain trust likes Stewart

  • In reply to Caps:

    Loe by virtue of the last in, first out philosophy. Loe hasn't shown anything special, so I'm sure the Cubs think they'll be able to replace him fairly easily.

    Could be Stewart but I think there is a greater chance of losing him, so unless they've completely given up on him, I'm going to guess he's not the guy -- for now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Well it makes sense... If they lose Loe, they're not missing much, while there's still at least some hope that Stewart could get his timing back and be the 20 hr guy he was for Colorado, but I'm not holding my breath, I think Ransom and Valbuena are doing a good job.

    I think Stewart's future also has a lot to do with what Vitters and Lake do later this season, if they impress the FO, they might even call one of them later this season than Stewart.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, who you do think goes from the 25 man when Garza comes back?

  • In reply to Paris:

    Would think it's a pitcher. Loe if he's still around. Plenty of time on that, though. There could be a DL situation by the time he comes aroun.

  • How about Bijan Rademacher... He went 3 for 5 and pitched a scoreless inning LOL... Well done.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Fun player. Wonder what they clocked him at on the mound. He reached 95 as an amateur.

  • How awesome would it be if Garza went all Cliff Lee and signed with the Cubs after we trade him in July?:) It wont happen, but it would be nice to pick up a / some prospects or a competitive balance pick and then sign him in the off season.

    The problem is that he will likely command 5/$70M despite his injury history. I'd be happy if the Cubs kept him and signed him to a 4/$40 deal.

    My guess is that nobody will blow the Cubs away with an offer and they will keep him, offer him a QO and get somebody's first round pick (Dodgers, Yankees, Angels, etc.)

  • In reply to Roscoe Village:

    I agree. As long as Garza stays healthy, he's going to get paid this offseason. The good news for the Cubs is it will make him worth the QO. That gives them some leverage in a deal so I hope they do better than that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Considering what we gave for him I hope we get more than 1 prospect for Garza. It is what it is, hopefully he's the last of Hendry's nightmare leadership.

  • First time poster here and I just want to say thanks for all the work y'all do here. Such a relief not having to read through message boards like MLB.com to find great Cubs info.

    John, what I have never really understood is why haven't we signed Garza to a minor extension- like a couple years? It seems as if his value is directly related to his years of control. Wouldn't the move increase Garza's value, and while increasing return back in prospects?

  • In reply to HowlinWolf:

    Thanks HowlinWolf. My guess is that the Cubs would love to do that but the reluctance would be on Garza's end -- or at least his agent. A couple more years and he hits free agency at 31 and may not get as big a contract as he'd like. His stuff, age, and track record is good enough that he could cash in with a strong second half this year.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John is right; if I am Garza's agent, I am advising my client to establish health, pitch well, then hit the free agent market. Josh Johnson is the only other 2014 FA even close to Garza, and he is hurt right now. Garza could easily command $100 mil if he's healthy and pitching like 2011. He'll be 30 at FA time, ideal age.

    As his agent, I would strongly advise against a 2-year deal. That would make him 32 next go-around, and he may not have an opportunity again like this

    Probably Garza's real agent is offering the same advice, which is why we haven't signed him

    Also, if I am Garza's agent, I would also be typing this on my I-Pad from my yacht in the Carribean

  • In reply to HowlinWolf:

    Totally agree, what was very appealing about Garza other than his stuff was team control at least for one more year. That is now up, so the haul would be far less than what we would have gotten last year

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    Vitters with a 2 run Jack!

    C'mon kid we need you!

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    It was a long blast, too.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm still holding out hope Vitters can become a serviceable starting MLB player (at 3B or LF) or build up enough trade value to be moved for one.

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    In reply to Dale Miller:

    Looks like Ian Stewart doesn't even deserve the Iowa 3B job

  • I know we haven't hit, but there is nothing worse in baseball than a bullpen that blows leads, like last week. I feel bad for Marmol, as there was virtually no pitcher in baseball that was more valuable than him in 2007 and 2008. If there was some way that we could get Fujikawa back, pitching well, get Feldman or Villanueva in the pen pitching well once Garza comes back, we could actually be pretty good. The problem is that the bullpen has put us in a 9 game hole right from the start. With these new additions, we could keep Camp and Marmol in mop up duty when we are behind. Keep the faith.

  • In reply to vh4bvu:

    The bullpen has been a disaster. The good news is that I think that's the easiest and least expensive part of the team to fix once you get into win-now mode. At the same time, I can see why that's the last place they want to invest in now.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    As bad as it's been, I'm amazed that there are 3 teams in the National League with a worse bullpen ERA than the Cubs...one of them is the Cards

    When the Cards straighten that out, they are going to roll the NL Central, IMO. Hate to say....

  • Great news on Garza, Matt please give us 2 months of healthy pitching and you will find yourself on a contender.
    Sorry to hear about Gavin Floyd, when will Theo/Jed sign him?

  • Loe reportedly just DFA'd to make room for Sweeney on 40-man. Dolis up to take spot in pen...at least until Fuji comes back.

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    In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Who knows if Dolis would be sent down....if he pitches well and outing or two, Camp and/or Marmol look exposed

    And if Kevin Gregg goes back to doing what Kevin Gregg does, he'll be expendible too

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    In reply to SVAZCUB:

    Yay! A singles hitter with no power. Not excited. I wish they had DFA'd Marmol.

  • Lets not get too excited yet about Garza. We need to see how he feels tomorrow and then has 2 more rehab starts. There is no way a team will trade for him until he has a few starts at the ML level.

    How would you feel if the Cubs trade for Gavin Floyd next year after 2 rehab starts and give up Javier Baez? We would be incensed.

    Let him come back and contribute to the parent club and that is when his value will be the highest.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Teams in contention but a glaring need at the deadline will overpay. The Cubs aren't in that situation, so the Baez example doesn't really apply. If the Cubs had a lot of talent at the MLB level and Baez was seemingly blocked anyway and years away from the big leagues, fans might not mind seeing him go for a piece that would put the big league team over the top.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Considering I wouldn't give up Baez for a healthy Gavin Floyd, I wouldn't feel very good about it.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I don't think anyone is going to trade for Garza now, but I also don't think they're too worried about how he does in his MLB starts. I think they'll wait long enough until they are satisfied that he is healthy, then be ready to make their best offer.

  • John - What's the liklihood they Cubs already have a few framework deals in place to work from with teams such as the Royals, Red Sox, Rangers, Jays?

  • In reply to Bigstevo4000:

    I don't know about framework deals but I think the Cubs have a pretty good idea of what they want. I think other teams are still trying to get a read on Garza before they get that far.

  • John you know how the Astros want a pre draft deal and if they cant get one with gray or appel whats the chance to get one with meanea? Also ever since your royals article I've been looking at their farm system and i have a friend that lives out there who used to be a part of their organization until mid way through 2012 season becuase he had family problems going on. if we cant get sarling zimmer or ventura How would a this deal look: graza and/or dejesus for John lamb Cheslor Cuthbert Adalberto Mondesi 34th pick and maybe a PTBNL as in Selmen

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    I think Manaea is much more likely to take a deal -- even with Boras as his agent.

    As for the Royals, they're all good players and Lamb might be a good gamble because he has front line talent but a long injury history. If healthy, he's a very interesting guy.

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    I think the Cubs should keep Garza as a #2 and find a #1 starter via trade or free agency (David Price). That moves Jeff Samardzjia to #3 and Edwin Jackson to #4 with Travis Wood your #5 guy. The bullpen gets tougher with Feldman and Villanueva.

    If you draft Appel (though I am not a fan), maybe he gets a spot start or two in September and then you can tender Garza at season's end. If he signs the tender or just re-ups, great. If he doesn't you get a draft pick.

    That seems to be the best option at this point to me unless someone is willing to overpay. That would be an awfully tough rotation next year if all are healthy. But if I was intent on trading a pitcher, I'd trade Samardzjia - I think you get more for him. My two cents.

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