Garza anxious, on schedule

Matt Garza's schedule is siimilar to what it would have been had he not gotten injured. David Banks-US Presswire

NASHVILLE – Chicago Cubs starter Matt Garza is on schedule as he recovers from a right elbow injury, according to manager Dale Sveum.

"Everything is going great right now," Sveum said on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings. "He's basically on the same path as if he didn't have an injury. Everything is going really well. That's about the time he'd start throwing, before Christmas and start cranking it up. So everything is going really well."

Garza was the subject of trade rumors before the injury and eventually had his season shut down by the club in August. He was 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts. Sveum says the high energy pitcher is anxious to get started.

"You know Garza," Sveum said. "He can't wait. He can't wait to get back on the mound, and obviously right now he's at baby steps. But right now there's nothing really changed as far as if he would have pitched the last game of the year. He would have took the time off and started throwing right about now, and that's what he was getting ready to do. Yeah, I mean, Garza is wound like a top, so he's ready to start going."

Also recovering from an injury -- Tommy John surgery -- is new addition Scott Baker. Baker and Scott Feldman are two offseason, starting pitching pick-ups by the Cubs.

"Scott Baker in Minnesota had some nice years, got to see him a lot when I was with the Brewers, a guy that throws a lot of strikes and has got some upside with his fastball, sneaky fastball," Sveum said. "And he's on pace right now, everything is going really well with the rehab and he should be ready to go opening day.

"And Feldman is another guy that's kind of in the same boat without the injury, but a guy that we feel very confident can pitch in the National League, in the National League Central, and do a good job."