Cubs get good news on Garza

Posted3/18/2013 7:56 PM

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Cubs got a mixed bag of medical news Monday, but one thing is true: They're keeping MRI techs busy.

Third baseman Ian Stewart had an MRI of his injured left quad, and manager Dale Sveum conceded the window is "getting ready to shut, being ready for Opening Day."

Pitcher Scott Baker underwent an MRI on his right elbow one day after making his Cactus League debut. Baker had Tommy John surgery on the elbow last April 17.

"He felt good and then he came in today kind of sore," Sveum said.

Baker was not scheduled to start the season on the active roster anyway.

On a more positive note for the Cubs, ace Matt Garza reported good results after throwing from 75 feet Sunday. Garza, whose 2012 season ended in July with a "stress reaction" in his right elbow, was on the mend from a left-lat-muscle injury he suffered early in spring training.

The Cubs have been talking about a May 1 return for Garza, but Sveum said it could come "seven days after May 1, seven days before."

Garza said he is feeling fine even though there is no set date for him to throw off a mound.

"We went to 75 (feet) yesterday for the second day," he said. "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 is throwing every other day, and he said he wants to build up the distance he throws before getting up on the mound.

Good impressions:

Javier Baez and Jorge Soler each went 0-for-4 in Monday's 5-2 victory over the Padres on the day the Cubs announced the two young prospects were among the roster cuts. Both made big impressions on Dale Sveum.

"Not just productivity," Sveum said. "Soler started struggling a little bit his last 10 or so at-bats. Obviously, Baez, we know what he's done. I think how they grew through spring training, the experiences they got, just watching Baez, not just his results but the way he kind of grew up.

"Probably a lot that was feeling a lot more comfortable as camp went on with all the other guys and how to do things the big-league way, the Cubs way. So he matured a lot, I thought, throughout the month in spring training since the games started.

"Soler is so raw. He hasn't played a whole lot of games. He just needs to play. There's some special stuff there ... that's already polished defensively, instincts. Now the guy just needs to see all those changeups and sliders. He just needs the at-bats."

Soler batted .222 for the spring while Baez hit .302.

Jackson strong:

Starting pitcher Edwin Jackson threw 76 pitches Monday as he went 6 innings and gave up 3 hits and 1 run.

"I'm just trying to progress as the season goes on, trying to get closer to game mode as we get closer to the end of March," Jackson said. "Just try to keep the ball rolling in a positive direction right on into the season."

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