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Ex-Ray Garza feels better, bides time

MESA, Ariz. — Matt Garza still had a bulky wrap around his midsection Sunday, and the Cubs right-hander was uncertain when he would be allowed to throw again.

A week after feeling a twinge in his left side while throwing batting practice, the former Ray said he had no pain and was feeling better. He described the pulled muscle as "just a little spot that's annoying."

"This is just a slower process because it's more important due to the fact that it's required to use in everything," Garza said. "It's just more like something's still there, and you don't want anything to be there, because you don't want to re-aggravate it and get it worse."

Garza said he would keep doing as much conditioning work as he could and would be ready to throw when he gets the go-ahead from team doctors. He hopes that will be in the next few days.

"I'm just antsy right now," he said. "I think it's just a sign I was too far advanced, too much ahead of schedule."

Garza was limited to 18 starts in 2012 because of an elbow injury. When he felt something in his side a week ago, he was throwing to hitters in his most extensive work since his final start July 21.

An MRI exam confirmed that it was only a pulled muscle, and the team said it expected him to rest and recover for about a week before throwing again.

"A little bit better (Sunday) and it's still very slight," manager Dale Sveum said. "So the good thing: It was what it was and now it just keeps getting better every day."

The Cubs acquired Garza from Tampa Bay in an eight-player deal in January 2011. He is 15-18 with a 3.52 ERA in 49 starts for Chicago.

MARTIN OUT OF WBC: Russell Martin won't be moonlighting at shortstop after all. The Pirates' new catcher said he will not play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic because Canadian and Pittsburgh officials don't feel comfortable with him moving from his normal position.

ANGELS: Right-handed reliever Ryan Madson, who has been sidelined with discomfort in his surgically repaired elbow, is scheduled to throw on back-to-back days Monday and Tuesday.

CARDINALS: Shortstop Rafael Furcal served as DH in his first game experience of the spring and went 0-for-2. Furcal is recovering from a strained ligament in his throwing elbow that cut short his 2012 season.

INDIANS: Former Rays All-Star left-hander Scott Kazmir pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut. Kazmir, 29, is attempting a comeback after being out of the majors all of last season.

METS: Reliever Pedro Feliciano will be restricted from baseball activity for at least two weeks while wearing a heart monitor. General manager Sandy Alderson said it was not clear if Feliciano has a "hole" in his heart, as the left-hander described it Saturday.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Christian Garcia will be shut down for 10-14 days because of lingering discomfort just above his right wrist. Garcia was diagnosed with a mild forearm strain last week.

RANGERS: Right-hander Kyle McClellan, who had surgery to repair a frayed labrum in July, had a setback in his rehab when his bullpen session was shut down before he completed warmups.

TIGERS: Victor Martinez, who missed last season with a left knee injury, could play first base today in what would be his first action in the field since the injury.

Ex-Ray Garza feels better, bides time 02/24/13 [Last modified: Sunday, February 24, 2013 8:47pm]

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