Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, ranked ninth on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings and one of the prime trade targets last summer until he hurt his elbow, faced live hitters for the first time since his injury. Garza "looked good" (MLB.com's Carrie Muskat on Twitter) and "was throwing strong" (Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune via Twitter) before cutting his session short walking off the field with a trainer while holding his left side. Manager Dale Sveum calls the injury a mild lat strain and says Garza will be fine, Sullivan tweets. Here's the other news coming out of Mesa today, as the Cubs held their first full-squad workout:
- Owner Tom Ricketts told reporters, including ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine, he has been impressed by the job done by President Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer. "I think the progress is tremendous," Ricketts said. "People can't see all the decisions that are made behind the scenes. I see these guys making hundreds of smart decisions during the course of the year. Some of them are public decisions, and a lot of them are smaller decisions made behind the scenes. I just have complete total confidence that they are moving us in the right direction."
- Ricketts also addressed the reduction in payroll during his tenure, reports David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. "The previous payroll model from the Tribune Company ownership was unsustainable in the current context which is why we are working to reach a deal on renovating the ballpark that will allow us to increase our revenue streams for the organization."
- The Cubs contacted Mark DeRosa about replacing Bob Brenly in their broadcast booth, tweets the USA Today's Bob Nightengale. DeRosa, who played two seasons on the North Side (2007-2008), instead chose to sign with the Blue Jays last month while the Cubs hired Jim Deshaies as their new TV analyst.