Matt Garza played catch from flat ground today as he tries to recover from a strained lat muscle, but Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs right-hander “seems braced for the possibility of opening the season on the disabled list.”
“If I try to rush and be ready April 1, I might be re-injured in June, and be out,” Garza said. “If I take my time, maybe I’m pitching April 15 through October, maybe November.”
In addition to the lat strain Garza is also coming back from elbow problems that plagued him last season, so the Cubs have every reason to be cautious considering a healthy Garza is a prime trade candidate with free agency around the corner.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.