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Matt Garza Primer: Getting to Know the Newest Texas Ranger

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Matt Garza Primer: Getting to Know the Newest Texas Ranger
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

Matt Garza is the newest addition to the Texas Rangers, as the trade deadline looms. The former Chicago Cubs starting pitcher was traded to the Rangers on July 22 and has already made one start, getting the win over the New York Yankees.

Garza, 29, is currently 7-1 with a 2.87 ERA, following his July 24 start. The Rangers are Garza's fourth team since making his MLB debut.

Here's more on Garza.

Full name: Matthew "Matt" Scott Garza

Date of birth: November 26, 1983

Birthplace: Selma, CA

Height and weight: 6'4", 215 lbs.

Throws: right

College: Fresno State

Check out Garza's career highlights in the video above. Garza is a power pitcher, and you'll notice he'll run his fastball up to 95 MPH.

Garza was the 25th overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, selected by the Minnesota Twins. Garza spent little time in the minor leagues. Barry Horn of the The Dallas Morning News discusses Garza's rise the best.

Garza began the 2006 season with the Twins’ Class-A affiliate. In a matter of months, he whisked through Class 2A and 3A as well. On Aug. 8, the Twins, thirsting for pitching help on their successful run to the American League Central Division title, made the 22-year-old a major leaguer.

Garza ended up with three wins and six losses after his first season in the big leagues. He spent one more season with the Twins before being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays.

In July of 2010, Garza threw a no-hitter at home against the Detroit Tigers. Garza walked one batter and recorded six strikeouts. Check out Garza's last pitch in the game, where he gets Ramon Santiago to fly out to right field to end it. That pitching performance and the five runs to go along with it are what Rangers fans are thirsting for.

Garza was then traded to the Chicago Cubs before the start of the next season. In two-and-a-half seasons with the Cubs, Garza recorded 21 wins and 18 losses. He also had a career-best 197 strikeouts at the end of the 2011 season.

Garza has the chance to be a solid No. 2 starter for the Rangers. Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News put together a scouting report on Garza.

According to two major-league scouts, Garza is power pitcher who features the two- and four-seam fastball, slider and curveball. Uses curveball as off-speed pitch in place of changeup. Slider is a top-quality out pitch but can also put away hitters with riding four-seam fastball. … Will challenge hitters by working insider with four-seamer. … Ultra-competitive and sometimes lets emotions go unchecked.

The Rangers will need all 6'4" of Garza to compete and shut down teams as the season goes on. The Rangers are struggling with hitting as of late. Hopefully, brilliant performances by Garza can help spark the Rangers offense.

Garza is expected to make his second start for the Rangers against the Los Angeles Angels on July 29.

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