Free agent righty Matt Garza is set to undergo surgery for a torn right shoulder labrum, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. It seems the injury was sustained in a mid-season collision that knocked Garza out of commission for a time but did not end his season.
Now 34 years of age, Garza just wrapped up a four-year, $50MM deal with Milwaukee. (The contract had included an option provision, but it was voided when he reached an appearances threshold.) His future as a pitcher appears uncertain now that he’s facing down a significant procedure.
As McCalvy notes, Garza was throwing rather well when he crashed into Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar on June 3rd. Though he landed on the DL, Garza returned and pitched through the injury — the extent of which was evidently not fully appreciated or fully expressed at that time. He continued to provide solid frames for the Brewers for a while and never really exhibited a velocity loss. Nevertheless, Garza lost his edge in an ugly run of outings during August.
The tough finish to the 2017 season left Garza with 114 2/3 innings of 4.94 ERA ball. Though he did manage to top the century mark in frames in each of his four seasons in Milwaukee, Garza only managed a 4.65 earned run average during his time there.
Prior to signing on with the Brewers, of course, Garza had been a steadily useful pitcher, with a 3.84 ERA and 7.6 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 through over a thousand MLB innings. He turned in a solid first campaign, with a 3.64 ERA through 27 outings, but things trended sharply south in 2015 and Garza never full returned to form.