MESA, Ariz. -- With the possibility of an Opening Day start looming, Matt Garza is trying to remain low key about the entire process.
The Chicago Cubs have remained mum on who will start the season opener April 5 against the Washington Nationals, but it’s clear that it will be either Garza or Ryan Dempster, who had the honor last season.
Garza will make his first appearance of the spring on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies, and if he pitched every fifth day following that outing it would line him up perfectly to pitch in the season opener.
"It'd be awesome, but for me it's just another day to pitch; it's just my spot," Garza said about an Opening Day nod. "I'm just wanting to be one of the five [starters] and leave camp healthy and get ready to do what I have to do to help this team get back to October."
It would be easy to give the honor back to Dempster as well. He would just get an extra day of rest between his final spring start and the season opener, a practice that is common with other teams. That would then put Garza in the second game of the season on April 7.
Garza made it clear that pitching in Game 2 wouldn’t be a blow to his ego.
"Opening Day is just an honor, kind of beauty-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder type thing," he said. "To me it would be awesome. It would be awesome for anybody. But to me the main goal is to get to the playoffs."
What seems to be the real Opening Day honor for Garza is just getting another chance to be associated with the start of a new season, player introductions and that first pitch, no matter who gets to make it.
"For 100 years there has always been Opening Day," he said. "It's one of those things that people look forward to. I think it's awesome, and I’m excited to see April 5 and it doesn't matter who is on the mound we’re ready to get it done."