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.
On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!
Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.
José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.
Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.
Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.