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posted: 5/14/2013 10:00 PM

Garza eager to return to Cubs' rotation

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Cubs pitcher Matt Garza sounded a little like he was his own boss Tuesday.

Garza, who has been on the disabled list all season because of a left-lat-muscle strain, will make another rehab start Thursday for Class AAA Iowa. He may need another start after that before the Cubs activate him.

"Like I said a couple weeks ago, I'm just going for the next one," he said. "I'm just looking forward to Thursday. After Thursday, I'll make a decision. I know they want me to get stretched out and go a little deeper into games."

Garza was asked how much of a say he'd have in when he comes off the DL.

"I would say a lot, based on it's my job," he said. "But it comes down to what the organization wants to do, what upstairs wants to do.

"Obviously, we'll sit down and talk about it and go from there. It's all based on how I respond and how I feel and how comfortable I am."

Actually, manager Dale Sveum and the front office will lead the discussions.

"If everything goes really well and his pitch count is right and he gets himself into the sixth inning to where he got out there six different times, then the decision might be easier," Sveum said.

"We're all going to be in on this decision. He's going to be in on it. We have to cross that bridges after he pitches on Thursday."

Barney's trump card:

Second baseman Darwin Barney entered Tuesday with a hitting line of .159/.274/.268. Because Dale Sveum values the Gold Glover's defense, there's little chance of Barney losing his job or seeing even a little bench time.

"Just his presence on the field defensively will outweigh (a lack of offense)," Sveum said. "Obviously, we all want more. Just his at-bats and the aggressiveness he's shown the last three days, I think we'll start seeing some better things from him offensively now."

RISP-y business:

The Cubs entered Tuesday leading the major leagues in doubles (87).

"The only thing bad about our offense is hitting .209 with men in scoring position," Dale Sveum said. "Other than that, our OPS is, I think, top five in the National League (actually seventh).

"It's climbing. We're out of the .100s. We're into the .200s and climbing toward .210. Like I said before, it is a cycle thing. That stat is a cycle for a lot of teams.

"Sometimes it's month to month the team will hit .140, and the next month, they'll hit .300 with men in scoring position."

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