Matt Garza did some throwing yesterday for the first time since being shut down in mid-July with a stress reaction in his elbow, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
Garza announced via Twitter that he “felt great.”
Prior to the injury Garza was rumored to be on the trading block and for a while the Cubs held out hope that he could return in time to make an August waiver deal possible, but he never made any real progress.
That also makes it tough for the Cubs to trade Garza this offseason, whereas a healthy Garza with one year of arbitration eligibility remaining before hitting the open market as a free agent next winter would have been a hot commodity.
In two seasons with the Cubs the 29-year-old right-hander has a 3.52 ERA and 293 strikeouts in 302 innings.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.