Matt Garza doesn't talk to the media the day before a start, and the day before his start just so happened to be the first day he was with his new team, the Texas Rangers, after being traded on Monday from the Chicago Cubs.
Garza didn't have to speak on Tuesday, as he sat in the dugout in uniform and seemed to fit right in with the Rangers' clubhouse. But his new teammates and his new manager spoke for him.
“He’s excited, big smile on his face. I think I sat here with just as a big a smile as he did,” manager Ron Washington told reporters on Tuesday. “He’s ready to go, man. I wouldn’t expect anything less."
Garza is known as the ultimate competitor. Not someone with legitimate ace stuff like Cliff Lee was back in 2010, but a very solid piece to a starting rotation and one who will win at all costs. He's also pitching better, or at least as good, as anyone in baseball at the moment, posting a 5-0 record and a 1.24 ERA in his last six starts with the Cubs.
His last start came against the St. Louis Cardinals back on July 13, meaning he'll be going on 10 days of rest, so one concern for Garza could be some rust built up on a hot arm.
His former teammate and catcher in Chicago, Geovany Soto, who might catch Garza in his Rangers debut, said he expects Garza to come out on fire.
“He’s a power pitcher. He will upgrade any rotation in the big leagues,” Soto told the Associated Press. “It’s great to have him here.
“‘He’s happy that everything’s done, he knows where he’s at now, and he’s going to be here for 2013 and hopefully go into October. He’s going to prepare, he’s going to give you 100 percent. Guaranteed.”