The kids play one more time; Garza talks rehab

The kids play one more time; Garza talks rehab

Posted by Bruce on Mon, 03/18/2013 - 11:33

MESA, Ariz. _ It’s a morning in Mesa and an afternoon at Peoria as the Cubs take on the Padres in a road game. The clubhouse at HoHoKam Park was much more crowded this morning as the Vegas crew got back safe and sound. We’ll visit with manager Dale Sveum in Peoria before this afternoon’s game.

Even though the Cubs are sending out Jorge Soler and Javier Baez today, they’ll both be in the lineup against the Padres as Dale gives many of his regulars the game off (they’re all here working out in the morning). It’s a good move, with a scheduled off-day coming up Wednesday and Opening Day still two weeks away.

Here’s how they’ll go today:

Sappelt, CF
McDonald, LF
Soler, RF
Baez, SS
Clevenger, C
Maysonet, 3B
Lillibridge, 1B
Gonzalez, 2B
Jackson, P

Had a chance to visit with Matt Garza this morning. He’s begun throwing again after suffering a left-lat injury early in the spring. Garza wanted to clear one thing up about how far he’s been tossing.

“I think Dale said something about 90 feet,” Matt said. “No, we’re not that far yet. We went to 75 (feet) yesterday for the second day. Twenty throws. No pain. Good action. I’m pushing to try to speed it up, but they have me on a real set pace right now. It’s going real good.”

Garza said he wants to “get comfortable throwing” before he gets back up on the mound again. He pointed out that he had 24 days off, so it’s going to take some time. He'll start the season on the DL, and May 1 has been the most-talked-about estimated date for his return to the active roster.

We have some cool stories coming up for the paper in the coming days. Our “take” for Tuesday will be on Soler and Baez, how they’re the future of the franchise and how they’ve gotten help and advice from Alfonso Soriano. We'll also have news and notes from today's game and other interviews. I also had a chance to visit one on one with opening-day starter Jeff Samardzija. We’ll have something on Jeff later in the week or shortly thereafter.

For now, we’ll pack up the gear, jump in the car and head across the valley to Peoria. Len and Mick will have the game on cubs.com.

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