Chicago Cubs

Cubs call up reliever Garcia; Smyly throws batting practice

The Toronto Blue Jays' Jaime Garcia pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays on June 12 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Garcia, recently acquired by the Cubs, was added to their 40-man roster Tuesday.
The Toronto Blue Jays' Jaime Garcia pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays on June 12 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Garcia, recently acquired by the Cubs, was added to their 40-man roster Tuesday.

MILWAUKEE – The Cubs added yet another pitcher for bullpen depth Tuesday when they selected the contract of veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia from Triple-A Iowa.

The 32-year-old Garcia signed a minor league deal with the Cubs on Friday after going 3-6 with a 5.93 ERA in 25 games and 13 starts with the Toronto Blue Jays. He spent two stints on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.

Garcia was with the Cardinals from 2008 to 2016, starting two games in the 2011 World Series. He also has pitched for the Braves, Twins and Yankees. He took a lifetime record of 70-61 with a 3.84 ERA into Tuesday.

Before Tuesday night’s game against the Brewers, Garcia threw live batting practice at Miller Park.

“He’s had a lot of success on the major league level,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “The delivery was good. The health was good. The ball out of the hand was good. Velocity 88 to 89 (mph), and that’s just in a practice situation. Really good changeup. He’s a guy that’s always had that The ball has a lot of movement on it, a lot of sink.

“He looked normal to me. I know he has been a starter. We moved him to the bullpen. I think the Blue Jays had done that a little bit, also. It’s kind of an interesting concept. I’ve talked to him specifically. He said it does not take him long to warm up. I think he pitched four out of five days already out of the bullpen, which are two good signs.”

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs recalled outfielder Mark Zagunis from Iowa and placed him on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

Smyly feels closer to ready: Left-hander Drew Smyly threw 23 pitches of live batting practice Tuesday to Victor Caratini and Terrance Gore.

Smyly is on the mend from Tommy John surgery, which he had in June 2017.

“I feel close,” he said. “I feel better than I have since the surgery. It’s a really good feeling to have when you’re on the mound. You can feel the mental hesitation is falling out, and I just feel strong. I feel healthy. It’s a fun time. I’m just excited to move forward. Hopefully, I’ll get out in games. But it’s not going to be my call. Me and the team and the front office have to sit down and try to do what’s best going forward to next year. But I would love to start pitching again.”

The Cubs signed Smyly to a two-year contract in December with an eye toward having him ready for 2019. He is more than eager to pitch again, whether it’s this year or next. The Cubs may be able to activate him sometime this month.

“I’ve been here all season, watching them win, watching them play,” he said. “It’s what I’ve done my whole life, is play baseball. When it’s taken from you, just have to sit on the sidelines and watch, it’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m very eager to get out there and pitch in a Cubs uniform. When that day comes, man, it will be exciting for me and my family.”

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