Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals

The Chicago Cubs will be without their projected opening day starter for the first month of the season, according to multiple reports.

Matt Garza, who missed most of the second half of last season with a stress reaction in his right elbow, experienced a setback from his rehab early this spring, failing to make it through live batting practice. An MRI in mid-February revealed a mild lat strain, but apparently more rest will be needed. With news that Garza will be out for some time, the Cubs wasted little time in naming their opening day starter for 2013. Jeff Samardzija will take the hill April 1st against A.J. Burnett and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Last season, Samardzija recorded a 3.81 ERA, 3.55 FIP and 3.38 xFIP in 28 starts. The Cubs will now start the season with a projected rotation of Samardzija, Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman, Travis Wood and Carlos Villanueva, with Garza and Scott Baker beginning the year on the Disabled List.