MILWAUKEE -- Matt Garza was in the gym by 5 a.m. during offseason in an effort to make this the year he snapped his streak of stints on the disabled list. That explained why the veteran right-hander was in tears Thursday after the Brewers placed him on the 10-day disabled
MILWAUKEE -- Matt Garza was in the gym by 5 a.m. during offseason in an effort to make this the year he snapped his streak of stints on the disabled list. That explained why the veteran right-hander was in tears Thursday after the Brewers placed him on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain. The Brewers also set the rest of their starting rotation for Opening Day.
Junior Guerra, Zach Davies, Wily Peralta and Chase Anderson will start the Brewers' season-opening, four-game series against the Rockies at Miller Park from Monday-Thursday. Jimmy Nelson will start April 7 in the opener of a weekend series against the visiting Cubs.
Garza, who said he felt discomfort at the end of his final Cactus League start, will be on the season-opening DL for the second straight season after his 2016 debut was delayed until June 14 because of a strained shoulder.
It marks his sixth straight season with a stint on the DL.
"I just keep thinking about the 'Rocky' movies," Garza said, wiping tears from his face. "I can either be the middle fight, or I can be the last one. I want to be the last fight. I want to walk out there and fight the championship rounds. It stinks right now. I have to keep on fighting."
Manager Craig Counsell characterized the strain as "not a serious thing," and said Brewers medical officials are hopeful Garza could be on a rehab assignment before the end of April.
"I can't imagine what it's like to be in his shoes," said Anderson, who is taking Garza's spot beginning Friday, when the Brewers host the White Sox in exhibition play at Miller Park. "All of the guys in this clubhouse have a lot of respect for him, and what he's done. He's almost at 10 years [of Major League service]. Shoot, I'm going on three. That's tough to do, to get to 10 years. I feel for him."
Anderson was 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA in his final 12 starts last season.
"I'm excited to be part of the rotation again, and I'm looking forward to a more consistent season this year from start to finish," he said. "That's the goal I'm setting for myself."
With Garza on the DL and the five-man rotation set, the Brewers' other spring starting candidate, left-hander Tommy Milone, will begin the season in the bullpen.
"Obviously, the goal was to come in and be a starter, but I am happy that I've made the team," Milone said. "All spring, Counsell has been preaching that anything can happen. … Not that I'm looking forward to that, because obviously I have a job in the bullpen, but I need to be ready to step in and be a starter if that's a need."
The Brewers still have three relievers vying for two bullpen spots, Counsell said, and will continue to evaluate outside options before submitting a final 25-man roster Sunday.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.