Matt Garza is one of the Cubs’ best summer trade chips, but he might suddenly be damaged goods.
According to beat writer Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the right-hander was removed from Saturday’s game against the Cardinals after just three innings due to cramping in his right triceps. He fell down while trying to cover the first base bag on a double play earlier in the evening, and was later spotted stretching out his arm while chatting with a team trainer in the visitor’s dugout at Busch Stadium.
Garza has posted a solid 3.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 96/32 K/BB ratio through 103 2/3 innings this season.
X-rays were taken and came up negative, but the 28-year-old will be reevaluated by a specialist on Sunday. He’ll obviously be difficult to deal before the July 31 deadline if his injury is anything more than minor.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.