TAMPA BAY PITCHER MATT GARZA LEFT THE GAME IN THE TOP OF THE THIRD INNING WITH AN UNDISCLOSED INJURY.
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Will Carroll wrote:It was not the way that Garza wanted to start his career pitching for Tampa Bay—he was ineffective for seventy pitches, then called for the trainers. Garza was feeling pain in his hand, the result of what the team is calling a radial nerve irritation. He said that he'd also dealt with this last season, and that it would go away, but the Rays have to be a bit unnerved (no pun intended) to now hear that this is a recurring problem. One can only wonder if it was a known issue when they made the deal, but in the meantime Garza heads for the DL, and there are a wide range of possibilities for how long he might be out. Given the conservative tendencies of the Rays, I'm going to put this one in the middle of the possible range. The best case is that this goes away as Garza says has happened before, and that he gets his work in on the side without any additional issue cropping up. The worst case is that the nerve needs to be decompressed surgically, something I don't have any points of comparison for. One doctor I spoke with said the same thing, and wouldn't speculate on how long the player would be out post-surgery; that's never a good sign. Expect Jeff Niemann to get Garza's starts in the interim.
GARZA UPDATE: RHP Matt Garza, expected to be out four weeks with radial nerve irritation, cleared up the confusion regarding when the injury first surfaced. Garza said Tuesday that he has had similar issues since late last season with Minnesota, drawing Twins manager Ron Gardenhire to respond in Chicago that he was unaware of any health problems. One reason why? "I never said anything," Garza said. The 24-year-old said he merely told the trainers he was sore. As for his current rehab, Garza will play catch Saturday. The Rays have yet to announce who will start in his place Sunday, though it will likely be Triple-A callup Jeff Niemann.
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