According to Carrie Muskat of Cubs.com, Garza will miss the first month of the regular season:
#Cubs Garza "not ready to throw baseball yet" and will likely miss 1st month of reg season— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 3, 2013
The 29-year-old veteran was one of the team's most consistent starters over the past two years. In 49 starts, he posted a 15-17 record with a 3.52 ERA and 293 strikeouts.
Unfortunately, an elbow issue ended his season last year in late July. Now, it appears that a different issue will keep the pitcher off the mound once again.
Chicago already faced struggles in filling a rotation. The team traded Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm last year as it slumped to a 61-101 record.
There were higher hopes this year with an improving Jeff Samardzija and the addition of Edwin Jackson to follow Garza at the top of the rotation. With the ace sidelined for at least a little while, Travis Wood and Scott Feldman will likely be expected to produce much more in his absence.
Samardzija will be #Cubs OD starter— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 3, 2013
The issue is that Samardzija has only been a full-time starter for one season and has been slightly above average, posting a 3.81 ERA in 2012. This is not the type of player to inspire the team with confidence as the ace of a staff.
All over the field, the Cubs have to deal with question marks heading into the season. Garza was one of the few sure things on the roster.
That is no longer the case, as he will be out for at least a couple of months. Hopefully for the Cubs, he will be able to return to action sooner rather than later.