Baseball Notebook: Cubs' Garza ready to start vs. Pirates

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Matt Garza is set to come off the disabled list and make his first start of the season for the Chicago Cubs Tuesday against the Pirates.

Right-hander Carlos Villanueva is heading to the Chicago bullpen.

Garza hasn't pitched in the majors this season after sustaining a strained back muscle in spring training. In his fourth rehab start, the right-hander pitched six shutout innings for Class AAA Iowa and struck out six.

"I think when they told me to go get six and I got six, it was enough lobbying than I could argue," Garza said Saturday. "I'm just excited and I'm just ready to do my part."

Manager Dale Sveum said Garza won't be allowed to throw more than 90 pitches in his season debut. Garza hasn't started for the Cubs since July 21 when he sustained a stress reaction in his right elbow and missed the rest of the year.

Garza's return could boost an already strong Cubs rotation. Entering Saturday, the Cubs' 25 quality starts was fourth in the National League, and Chicago's starters have held opponents to a .226 batting average, the best in the majors.


The New York Yankees acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Colorado Rockies for cash, adding a left-handed bat to the group of backups filling in for the team's injured stars. New York designated shortstop Alberto Gonzalez for assignment to make room for Brignac on the 40-man roster. Brignac was hitting .250 with one homer and six RBIs in limited action for the Rockies before he was designated for assignment Thursday.


Reliever Chris Resop, traded by the Pirates for pitcher Zach Thornton in the offseason, was designated for assignment, giving the A's 10 days to trade him, release him or sign him to a minor league deal should he clear waivers. The A's reportedly would like to sign him if he clears waivers.


Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren said left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. O'Flaherty is likely facing Tommy John surgery. ... The St. Louis Cardinals have placed left-hander Jaime Garcia on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain.




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