ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Cubs insist that Matt Garza had nothing more than a cramp in his arm Saturday, but with the non-waiver trade deadline just 10 days away, will other teams be scared off from making a deal?
Garza threw three scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday but during that third inning he was dealing with some tightness in the back of his right arm above the elbow.
He came into the dugout for the top of the fourth inning, but with the arm only getting tighter, pitching coach Chris Bosio saw no reason for Garza to return to the mound.
It’s not the best time of the year for the Cubs to have a tradeable pitcher with arm discomfort of any kind, although a cramp is the best possible scenario for the club.
“They said everything was fine and no worries on the ligaments in there or anything like that,” Garza said. “It’s just a weird injury. It’s frustrating. I felt I was getting back to where I was.”
Afterward Garza said the arm was still a little sore, comparing it to the after effects of having a cramp in your calf. He originally thought the discomfort was regular arm tightness that crops up from time to time but quickly felt uneasy about the issue.
“I felt tightness before, but anything to do with your elbow area as a pitcher you get nervous,” Garza said. “I’m still young so I [wanted to] take the precaution so I said something. Usually I wouldn’t say anything, just go out there and muscle up.”
Garza made no guarantees about making his next start, but didn’t seem worried about it.
“X-rays and everything came back and nothing was wrong,” manager Dale Sveum said. “It was just a cramp in his triceps. It’s one of those things you don’t want to mess around with and it was a precaution, but everything seems to be fine.”
Cramping is a typical symptom of dehydration, but Garza said he took the necessary precautions. It wasn’t an exceptionally warm evening in St. Louis.
“I came in today and I was tired of drinking water; I came straight in and said give me some Gatorade, some endurance water, something besides water,” Garza said. “I drank water the last two days because I knew it was going to be a warm one. My preparation has always been good. I pride myself on being ready to throw on my day and stuff like this pisses me off because it wasn’t what I had planned.”
Garza knows all about the trade talk that is out there but insists that the potential for moving to a new team is the furthest thing from his mind.
“The trade thing, I’m not concerned about that,” he said. “If it does hurt the team, with what they had in mind, it’s not like I tried [to get a cramp]. I would rather throw eight or nine [innings] than come in here and say ‘I can’t throw the ball now.’ It sucks. I’ll just prepare and get ready for the next one. That’s all I can do.”