Dale Sveum doesn’t fear for Matt Garza’s health
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com July 21, 2013 9:44PM
Updated: July 21, 2013 10:51PM
DENVER — On the one-year anniversary Sunday of the elbow injury that nixed a nearly done trade of Matt Garza, Cubs manager Dale Sveum dismissed would-be fears of some kind of injury doing the same thing to the Cubs’ plans with Garza this year.
Sveum estimated a ‘‘100 percent’’ likelihood his best pitcher would take the mound for his scheduled start Monday in Arizona amid the front office’s ongoing efforts to deal the streaking right-hander before the 8:40 p.m. game.
As for concerns by outsiders that the Cubs are tempting fate by continuing to pitch Garza while trying to deal him, Sveum scoffed.
‘‘Whether it’s a guy on the field or a pitcher, you’re not ever thinking about anything like that,’’ he said. ‘‘Obviously, we know all those things can happen to anybody at any given time, but you certainly don’t change things or do anything different.
‘‘You got more things to worry about, especially [compared to] something bad like that.’’
Garza suffered a stress reaction in a bone in his right elbow July 21 in St. Louis and missed the rest of the season. A lat injury in spring training wiped out the first six weeks of this season.
Until then, the Cubs were in heavy negotiations on a trade with the Texas Rangers — the same team they tried to get a trade for Garza done with Friday.
No fear of a Cubbie recurrence, Sveum said.
‘‘I’d say 100 percent he’s going to be pitching [Monday],’’ Sveum said. ‘‘If I get a phone call, then obviously we’ll have to make adjustments, but it doesn’t change me or the way I’m doing things.’’
The guys in the clubhouse know what’s going on with less than 10 days before the July 31 trade deadline, so it’s not so much a distraction, veteran players say.
‘‘It’s probably more irritating than a distraction,’’ oft-traded pitcher Edwin Jackson said after pitching well in a 4-3 loss Sunday to the Rockies at Coors Field. ‘‘Just because you answer the same questions over and over and over again. And we don’t have the answers.’’
Second-year player Anthony Rizzo said he’ll just be glad to see Garza on the mound Monday.
‘‘It’ll be normal,’’ he said. ‘‘He’s handled it really well. Outside of the media, [the constant rumors are] just a joke in here.’’
Prospect Junior Lake has made a strong first impression in his first three big-league games — for better and worse.
He’s 5-for-12 (.417) with a steal and a walk, but he also has two errors in as many days in center field — where he never had played in a professional regular-season game until his debut Friday.
On Sunday, he overthrew the plate on a run-scoring single, allowing an additional run to score. Sveum said the throw was strong enough to get the first runner to end the inning if it was on line.
‘‘Those are the kind of things [with a young player], just getting [too] excited,’’ Sveum said.