Injured pitcher Matt Garza hasn’t thrown a baseball in more than two months, and the stress reaction near his pitching elbow hasn’t completely healed.
But the former 15-game winner is working out, traveling with the team and has no concerns about being at full strength for the start of spring training.
“I’m completely confident. I have no doubt in my mind I’m going to be ready,” said Garza. “And I’ll be in way better shape.”
The Cubs aren’t sure when he’ll start a throwing program, but say they’re optimistic there’ll be no lingering issues heading into next spring.
Garza’s performance next April figures to be critical for the Cubs’ efforts to start well enough to have any chance of avoiding the same kind of July sell-off and lost season they experienced this year.
And whether the Cubs revisit talks on a multi-year deal or can get a strong return if they shop him next year – as they did this season before the injury – will be all about that health and performance.
“Right now it’s just about getting me ready,” said Garza, who wouldn’t get into his thoughts about his future with the club as he enters his final winter of arbitration eligibility. “I’m not worried about anything else but getting me stronger and getting better.”