Matt Garza has been cleared to return from the disabled list and will make his season debut Tuesday against the Pirates, according to CSNChicago.com.
Garza didn’t throw a pitch after July 21 last season due to a stress reaction in his elbow and was forced to begin this season on the disabled list due to a strained lat. The 29-year-old right-hander posted a 1.17 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio in 15 1/3 innings over four rehab starts, including six scoreless innings with Triple-A Iowa on Thursday. Garza is due to become a free agent after the season, so he could become useful trade bait leading up to the July 31 deadline if he can prove healthy and effective.
In order to clear a spot for Garza in the rotation, Carlos Villaneuva will be moved to the bullpen. The 29-year-old right-hander has a solid 3.93 ERA and 36/14 K/BB ratio in 52 2/3 innings over eight starts this season, but Travis Wood and Scott Feldman have had better results and Edwin Jackson isn’t going anywhere after he joined the club on a four-year, $52 million contract this winter. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Villanueva will be available for any relief situation, not just as a longman.
Steve Phillips of MLB Network Radio reports that one or more of the prospects headed from the Dodgers to the Orioles in the Manny Machado deal have issues with their physicals. As a result, the trade may have hit a snag and the door may be open for other clubs. So far, it appears that Phillips is the only one reporting this, but things have otherwise been quiet on the Machado front since last night’s news.
According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, Dodgers outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz is believed to be the centerpiece of the deal. The Dodgers apparently prefer to hold on to pitching prospect Dustin May and middle infield prospect Gavin Lux.
The first-place Dodgers have been playing Chris Taylor at shortstop since Corey Seager went down with a season-ending injury. The club has also gotten minimal production out of second base, which has mostly been handled by Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley. Adding Machado to play shortstop would allow Taylor to move over to second base.
Machado, 26, hit .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI, 48 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 413 plate appearances in the first half. Defensive metrics have rated his defense at shortstop as subpar, uncharacteristically.