07/23/12 7:20 PM ET
Elbow better, but Garza likely to be skipped
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Garza, who came out of Saturday's game against the Cardinals after three innings, was scheduled to start on Friday, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum said on Monday that Travis Wood will likely start that game instead. Wood will be pitching on normal rest because of an off-day Thursday.
"Garza is better today -- there's some improvement," Sveum said on Monday. "[His arm is] not quite extendable, but he doesn't seem to be concerned about it. I think [Tuesday] will be the big day to do the evaluation. That's when we'll have to make some decisions and line up stuff."
Garza, 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA, will not throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. The timing of that session is still to be determined.
"He seems very optimistic about it, and he doesn't seem concerned that we'll have to put him on the [disabled list]," Sveum said. "As much as he competes, he knows the ramifications of hanging out and putting everybody in harm's way in the bullpen, and who are we going to start and all that. It's something we have to make a decision on in the next two days."
Garza is also the subject of trade rumors; the Dodgers are reportedly interested in the right-hander. A report on Monday said the Dodgers would trade righty Zach Lee -- the No. 1 prospect in the Dodgers' farm system, according to MLB.com -- to the Cubs in a package. Garza would be under team control through 2013.
Cubs share a laugh on 'Super Hero Day'
PITTSBURGH -- There were no prizes for best costume after Sunday's "Super Hero Day" for the Cubs, but there were compliments on the creativity. Cubs manager Dale Sveum, for example, made up for a lost mask and painted his face for his character, "Hellboy."
"I could've won the makeup award," Sveum said. "My mask didn't come in -- it got lost in UPS somewhere, so I had to make up my own face."
Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker were not only dressed as Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein, respectively, but also acted like the Cubs' general manager and president of baseball operations. Johnson and Baker sat in the first-class section of the Cubs' charter flight from St. Louis to Pittsburgh.
"That was classic," Sveum said. "The picture of them in first class was even better. That was awesome. They were on their cell phones."
There are more dress-up days scheduled, including an NHL sweater day and an NFL day to mark the opening of the football season.
"Guys get serious on that one," Sveum said. "Guys dress up like the 'Black Hole' guys in Oakland. That might be me, because I'm a Raiders fan. It'll be me and [Matt] Garza dressed up as the 'Black Hole' guys, black and silver all over the face."
Right-hander Chris Volstad dropped to 2-5 for Triple-A Iowa after a loss on Sunday. He gave up five earned runs on nine hits over five innings in Iowa's 9-5 loss to Albuquerque.
Josh Vitters hit his 15th home run and second in as many days, and Welington Castillo added a solo shot.
Jorge Soler, the Cuban outfielder who signed a nine-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs on June 30, hit his first professional home run on Sunday for the Mesa Rookie League team. He had two hits, drove in two runs and scored two runs in a 6-4 loss to the Reds.
Jeff Beliveau got some much-needed sleep on Sunday night after the Cubs arrived in Pittsburgh. The left-handed reliever was promoted to the big leagues on Sunday, but that meant getting about two hours of sleep on Saturday before boarding a 6 a.m. flight to St. Louis. He arrived at Busch Stadium, got dressed and was the first reliever up. And the first batter he faced in his Major League debut was the Cardinals' Matt Holliday.
When Beliveau could finally catch his breath and check his phone, he had 77 text messages on Sunday night.
The good news is that Beliveau remembered to bring beverages for the other players on the team bus. It's one of those unwritten rules in baseball. Beliveau, though, had gotten halfway out of the clubhouse on Sunday before he turned back.
"No one had to remind me; I reminded myself," Beliveau said.
He was also able to take part in the team's "Super Hero Day," borrowing pitcher Rafael Dolis' "Green Lantern" costume. Dolis was optioned to Iowa to make room on the roster for Beliveau.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.