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Cubs ace, ex-Ray Garza to open on DL

Matt Garza

Matt Garza

MESA, Ariz. — Former Rays right-hander Matt Garza will start the season on the disabled list because of an injured muscle in his side that is preventing him from throwing, and Jeff Samardzija will be the Cubs' opening day starter.

Garza's batting-practice session was cut short Feb. 17 because of an injured latissimus dorsi muscle. He rested 10 days and was in the second day of a throwing program on flat ground when he felt more tightness Saturday. He won't throw for the next week.

"I don't sit back and let things happen, I make them happen and keep pushing and going," Garza said Sunday. "Now we know it is just time. The recovery rate I was on, everything felt great. It's the body's way of saying it is going to take a little more time. It's not a setback, more like I've come to the realization you can't out-mind your body."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Garza will get two spring-training starts at most and will miss the first two weeks to a month of the season.

TROUT TAKES HIGH ROAD: Angels outfielder Mike Trout figures if he keeps producing like he did during his rookie season, he'll be in line for a handsome raise soon enough.

The Angels renewed Trout's contract for $510,000 Saturday, $20,000 above the major-league minimum, prompting an angry response from Trout's agent, Craig Landis. "I'm just happy to be in the lineup," Trout insisted. "I mean, my time will come."

KIDNAPPING ATTEMPT: The family of Tigers reliever Brayan Villarreal was the target of an unsuccessful armed kidnapping Friday night in Venezuela. No one was harmed, and the right-hander won't leave spring camp.

World Baseball Classic: Cuba beat Brazil 5-2 in its opener in Fukuoka, Japan. … Two-time defending champion Japan beat China 5-2 in Fukuoka to improve to 2-0 in Group A. … Taiwan improved to 2-0 with an 8-3 victory over the Netherlands in Group B in Taichung, Taiwan.

BRAVES: Former Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton hit his first home run with his new club, a two-run drive off Tigers right-hander Doug Fister.

BREWERS: Tests showed no structural damage to third baseman Aramis Ramirez's strained left knee, and he was expected to sit out a few days.

CARDINALS: Shortstop Rafael Furcal, who is trying to come back from a torn ligament in his right elbow, was told to stop all baseball activities and have additional medical tests. . … Manager Mike Matheny has a ruptured disc in his back and was scheduled to have an epidural injection today.

METS: A day after general manager Sandy Alderson said Johan Santana wouldn't throw off a mound for about 10 days, the left-hander made several light tosses from a mound.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Christian Garcia was diagnosed with a partially torn tendon in his right forearm and is out indefinitely. … Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who had right shoulder surgery Oct. 25, went 1-for-3 with an RBI single as the designated hitter in his spring training debut.

RANGERS: Left-handed pitching prospect Martin Perez broke his left forearm after being hit by a line drive and will not throw for about four weeks.

Cubs ace, ex-Ray Garza to open on DL 03/03/13 [Last modified: Sunday, March 3, 2013 9:00pm]
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