CHICAGO -- Matt Garza got to the big leagues at 22 and has pitched on contending teams loaded with talent. He has amassed a significant track record with the Twins and Rays but still is viewed more on what he might do, not what he has done.
"It takes guys a while to figure it out," an American League coach said. "It's called maturity. He has the stuff. He always has had the stuff. But now he's locating. He's not just out there throwing. He finally has grown up."
In some ways, the Cubs' new 27-year-old starter long has been mature for his years. His first child, Matt Jr., was born shortly after he graduated from high school, and the Twins noted a seriousness of purpose when they took him with the 25th pick in the 2005 draft out of Fresno State. He got to the big leagues fast, like the best college pitchers do, but hasn't had a monster season with his 94 mph fastball and three solid complementary pitches.