By Paul LaTour
A virus running through the Cubs may force manager Dale Sveum to further push back Matt Garzas next start.
Garza was already moved back one day, but prior to Saturdays game with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sveum said Garza was iffy regarding Sundays scheduled start in the series finale from Wrigley Field.
Id say thats good way to put it, iffy, Sveum said in his office. Hes probably right on the 'iffy' line. I dont think its long term, but hes pretty down and out. Hes pretty sick.
Sveum said if Garza cant go, Travis Wood would get his first start. The Cubs are expected to recall the left-handed Wood up from Class AAA Iowa. Wood was 1-3 with a 5.08 earned-run average in five starts for Iowa. He has allowed 35 hits and eight walks with 30 strikeouts in 28.1 innings.
As for Garza, Sveum said he may be forced to have Garza skip his turn in the rotation, giving him five more days to recover from the virus that has struck several players.
Infielder Jeff Baker is also sidelined because of illness.
Hes getting even sicker, Sveum said. Hes not getting any better, thats for sure, so he probably wont be available today either.
Sveum added that he believes its the same virus, and that it is just working its way through the team.
(Scott) Maine got it leaving Philadelphia, and its kind of snowballed into everybody getting sick on the team, he said.
Losing Garza even for one start could hurt the Cubs, who have been getting strong starting pitching as late. In five starts, Garza is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA, 36 strikeouts and 10 walks in 33.2 innings.
This might linger on to where we just skip his start altogether, and get him ready for his next start five days from (Sunday), Sveum said.