The Chicago Cubs will be getting their ace back on Tuesday, as Matt Garza will come off the disabled list in time to start against an NL Central rival in the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to a tweet from Cubs Daily Herald beat writer Bruce Miles. Carlos Villanueva had a 3.93 ERA pitching in the starting rotation with Garza out, and Miles adds that he will be sent to the Cubs bullpen.
Garza (lat) has been building up stamina in each of his rehab starts, and manager Dale Sveum was encouraged by the “aggressiveness” and overall ability that Garza showed in a rehab start on Monday. As a result, the Cubs expected Garza to need just one more rehab start to get back on track, and Garza delivered a beauty on Saturday. The ace tossed six scoreless frames for Triple-A Iowa, and he was so confident that he declared himself ready to pitch following that very successful rehab start.
The Cubs really wanted Garza to show off his stamina and pitch in at least six innings (the golden amount), and he was platinum. His first successful rehab start led many to believe that Garza would be on track to make his season debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates next week, and the Cubs will indeed have the 29-year-old back at that time.
Tuesday is the day to watch Garza take on the Pirates, and he will greatly boost the overall ability of this squad. Villanueva was the obvious choice to send back to the bullpen, but it’s always good to know that the Cubs can count on him to spot-start when needed if somebody goes down, and that’s definitely a key role these days.