Cubs call up lefty Garcia; Smyly impresses

Both southpaws throw during BP before game in Milwaukee

September 4th, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs added left-hander to their bullpen mix on Tuesday. Drew Smyly thinks he may be close, too.
Garcia and Smyly both threw live batting practice on Tuesday at Miller Park. Garcia's contract was selected and he was in the bullpen for the Cubs' second game of their series against the Brewers.
"He's had a lot of success on the Major League level," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Garcia. "The delivery was good, the health was good, the ball out of the hand was good. The velocity was 88, 89 [mph], and that's in a practice situation. [He had a] really good changeup, he's always had that. He looked normal to me. I know he's been a starter and he was moved to the bullpen. It's an interesting concept."
Garcia, 32, signed a Minor League contract after he was released by the Blue Jays. The lefty was 3-6 with a 5.93 ERA in 25 games (13 starts) for Toronto this season. He's also pitched for the Cardinals, Braves, Twins and Yankees.
Smyly has been on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He threw 23 pitches in his workout on Tuesday.
"I feel close," Smyly said. "I feel better than I have since my surgery. It's a really good feeling to have when you're on the mound. You can feel the mental hesitations falling off. I feel strong, and I feel healthy. It's a fun time right now. I'm excited to keep moving forward."
Whether or not Smyly will get into a game with the Cubs has not been determined. He's eager.
"It's showing signs of being normal," he said. "I would love to start pitching again."
Maddon was pleased with the left-hander's workout.
"Smyly was outstanding. That was really good Smyly," Maddon said. "I've seen that in the past -- the velocity was up, the carry was good on the pitch, the breaking ball was better."
What's most encouraging is how Smyly has felt the day after he pitches.
"He said, 'It feels better post,'" Maddon said. "That's the big difference between now and a month ago when he thought he was feeling good."
To make room on the Cubs' 40-man roster for Garcia, the Cubs recalled outfielder and placed him on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
Lester, Hamels up for Clemente Award
and Cole Hamels were nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award for the Cubs and Rangers, respectively. Lester spearheads the NVRQT campaign, run by the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, which helps raise awareness and funds for children's cancer research. Lester, a cancer survivor himself, hosts a charity event every year in Chicago and invites cancer patients to ballgames as part of his "Road Rallies."

Hamels and his wife, Heidi, run the Hamels Foundation, which has a dual purpose of providing support for quality education in the United States and establishing a school in Malawi, Africa.
The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. The award is named for Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente, who died in a plane crash while delivering supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.
The Cubs' was the recipient of the prestigious award last year. The winner is announced during the World Series.
All-time winners

Worth noting
Cubs closer still has not thrown off the mound. He's been sidelined since July 18 with right biceps inflammation.
"He's still progressing," Maddon said. "He's feeling better. I know he's optimistic about getting back, and I am, too. No regression. Everything's been positive."