Matt Garza's rehab start was scratched the other day due to soreness in the arm. It's being called dead arm, which is common for players. It's especially common for those coming back from an injury. Most pitchers go through it at some point during the season. The Cubs are saying it's only muscular, which is good news.
Garza recently has had bone-related issues with a pitching elbow that still has a screw in it from a non-baseball injury when he was a kid. But the Cubs say they’re confident his latest setback is unrelated muscular soreness.
“I’m not really concerned right now,” manager Dale Sveum said. “This has got nothing to do with his elbow. This is just normal muscle soreness that he seems to be going through.”
Team officials say Garza reported feeling better Wednesday, and he could be on track to play catch by the end of the week. That could get him back on the mound for his first rehab start sometime next week. Then he might be able to come off the disabled list by the end of May, at the earliest.
Garza has been expected to return around the middle of May, but this will push him back until the end of May. Garza has started a game since July 21st, 2012. He missed the final 2 and a half months of the season with elbow soreness.
When he returns, one of the current members of the rotation will have to move to the bullpen. That guy would be most likely be Scott Feldman, but the Cubs did promise him a spot in the rotation when they signed him a $6 million contract. Here's what Hoyer had to say about it:
[Feldman] did sort of have one foot in, one foot out [of the rotation]. I think he felt like he was looking over his shoulder a lot. If he made a bad start, he might not necessarily make another one or might be in the bullpen. We certainly gave him the reassurance here: ‘You’re going to be a starting pitcher. You’re going to be in the rotation.’ [That] means a lot. It’s hard to perform when you’re always constantly worried about [your] job. — Brett
So maybe Scott Feldman isn't the guy going to the bullpen. He should be. He probably shouldn't have even been signed by the Cubs, but that's already been discussed.
The Cubs will make a few more turns through the rotation before they have to decide anything, but right now the decision is pretty easy. The decision, whenever it has to be made, should be equally easy regardless of how the next few starts go. I'm not sure it will be since the Cubs made a promise they shouldn't have.
Feldman has clearly been a back of the rotation pitcher in his career. Giving him more innings will probably only make him worse. There aren't too many teams that are going to promise a spot in the rotation to a 5th starter, but the Cubs did. And now it could bite them in the ass.
Either the Cubs go back on that promise, which will rightfully upset Feldman. Or they leave him in the rotation and move a better pitcher to the bullpen.