Elbow surgery, a lat strain, three rehab starts, and ten months later, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza will be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday, May 21 to face the Pittsburgh Pirates later that night.
Tuesday will be Garza’s first start since July 21, 2012, the longest period of time that Garza has been absent from professional baseball in his career.
Following a solid rehab start for Triple-A Iowa on Thursday, which saw the Chicago starter work six innings, giving up no runs or walks with six strikeouts, Garza felt ready for a return to the Chicago rotation.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum would concur, placing Garza back in the rotation (this coming Tuesday) and moving Carlos Villanueva back to the bullpen. In eight starts this season, Villanueva has posted a 3.93 ERA through 52.2 innings of work.
While no announcement has been made regarding who will be demoted to add space for Garza on the Cub’s 25 player roster, both the Cubs and Garza are happy to get things going for 2013 and pick up where the right-hander left off last summer.