Matt Garza compared pitching to breathing on his Twitter account, so theres no doubt that hes going to push to return this season, even with his team so far out of contention.
But the Cubs are going to be cautious with Garza, whos sidelined indefinitely with a stress reaction in the back of his right elbow.
It sucks, man, theyre not letting me throw a ball, Garza said Thursday at Wrigley Field. Its not fun to come here and sit down. Yeah, I get to work out and ride a bike and watch a ballgame. But its still not what I like doing. I like being out there taking control of my game and being able to do what I get paid to do.
Garza almost guaranteed that hed return to the rotation after cutting loose during a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium last weekend. But he still felt stiff and further tests in Chicago convinced the Cubs to shut him down.
I just feel out of it, Garza said. I dont like not playing. Im not here to just watch. This is the toughest thing for me to face, not being able to do anything, like holding back from going out there and wanting to throw. Thats why I fought so long with them.
They just said theyve had enough and lets see what else is in there. Its nothing bad. Its just the doc said a little rest and (lets) just get it over with.
As a comparison, the Cubs have used reliever Blake Parker, who went on the disabled list with a similar injury on June 6 and just began his minor-league rehab assignment this week.
Garza last pitched on July 21 in St. Louis, which effectively killed his trade market before the deadline. General manager Jed Hoyer said Garza will likely be a Cub in 2013, the final year of club control after contract extension talks earlier this season gained no momentum.
Garza proving hes healthy again this season would appear to help his state of mind, and give the Cubs something to think about over the winter.
If somebody keeps wanting me to play, Im all for it, Garza said. Im not looking ahead to anything. Im just trying to get to where I can get back on the field and start playing. Hopefully, its soon, sooner than later, and Im going to be working my tail off to get it that way.