MILWAUKEE -- It's tough joining a new team so late in the season, but Alex Hinshaw has a slight edge. He and Cubs pitcher Justin Germano were high school teammates together in Claremont, Calif., and now they're on the same big league staff.
The Cubs claimed Hinshaw off waivers from the Padres on Sunday. He went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 31 relief appearances for the Padres in his first big league action since 2009. He struck out 36 over 28 innings, and walked 20 before he was designated for assignment on Aug. 14.
On Tuesday, he joined the Cubs in Milwaukee. It's been tough waiting to see what was next.
"Obviously, I was in that gray area, just waiting around and not knowing if I had to pack to be outrighted to go to Triple-A or if I was getting picked up," Hinshaw said. "It was all excitement and stressful at the same time."
He was designated when the Padres were in Atlanta last week and he flew back to San Diego and waited there with his wife, spending some of the time on the beach and trying to relax. This was his first year with the Padres and he did not know current Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, who was San Diego's general manager for two seasons prior to joining Chicago's staff.
What's Hinshaw's role now?
"I really have no expectations," Hinshaw said. "Whatever skipper [manager Dale Sveum] has in mind. I'll work with the pitching coaches. Whenever they call my name to get ready, it's my job to get outs regardless of the situation. That's the way I've gone about being a reliever."
Germano has helped Hinshaw with the behind-the-scenes details, like the team's dress code on road trips. Hinshaw lives in Oregon in the offseason and has worked out with Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney, so he has another familiar face in the Cubs clubhouse.
Now, he's got about 40 games to show what he can do.
"I'd love to be able to be considered for [next season]," he said. "Chicago is obviously a very historic franchise and even when I played in Wrigley as a visitor, it was always nostalgic for me to touch the ivy and everything. I'm honored to be able to contribute to this organization this year and hopefully many years to come."
Garza officially shut down for the season
MILWAUKEE -- There was a very slim chance Matt Garza could have returned this season, but on Tuesday the Cubs made it official. The right-hander was transferred to the 60-day disabled list and is officially done for the year.
"If he came back, even if everything went great, he might have gotten a start or two and there's no reason to do that," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "He's shut down the rest of the season."
Garza has not pitched since July 21 due to a right elbow stress reaction. He was transferred to the 60-day DL to open a spot for pitcher Alex Hinshaw, who was claimed off waivers from the Padres. Although the odds were slim that Garza could return this season, there simply isn't enough time for him to build up arm strength. He has not picked up a baseball, or at least was not supposed to pick up one since he was put on the DL Aug. 7, retroactive to July 28.
"The best move to make is to open up a spot without sacrificing somebody who needs to be up here," Garza said. "This is for the better of the club."
Garza didn't take the news well.
"I'm not fine with it," he said. "I'll never be fine with it, but I kind of have to [accept it]. I've been getting better and working out and I'll stay ready, and when they say it's OK to go, I'll be out there, ready to go."
The move doesn't change the pace of Garza's rehab. He was scheduled for another X-ray in early September. Garza still is not supposed to pick up a baseball.
"I can," he said. "They don't want me to. I was throwing before, and they shut me down."
The good news is he's making progress.
"It feels better every day," he said. "Until they give me the OK [to throw], that's when I'll know how it feels."
Garza finished 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts, his fewest innings since 2007 with the Twins, when he started 15 games. How would he define this season?
"Disappointed," he said. "I wanted to finish it off. I'd like to be the guy who steps out there every five days and be known for that. I've had a little hiccup. I'll come back stronger."
• The Cubs may move their Class A affiliate next season from Peoria to Kane County, and officials said Tuesday they will make an announcement once the Minor League season ends.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday the Cubs are in the process of working out a player development agreement with the Kane County Cougars, which would move their Midwest League affiliate closer to Chicago. Instead of the current three-hour drive to Peoria, the Class A team would be about a one-hour drive.
Cubs player development director Jason McLeod said Tuesday the team will have no comment about the Minor League teams until the season is over. The Peoria Chiefs' season ends Sept. 3 at Kane County.
In 1985, the Peoria Chiefs became a member of the Cubs' farm system, and featured players such as Greg Maddux, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark Grace and Joe Girardi. The affiliation with the Cubs lasted until 1994, when the Chicago team moved its Class A squad to Rockford. In mid-September 2004, the Chiefs announced they were joining the Cubs again, beginning with the 2005 season.
The Cubs have development agreements with Triple-A Iowa through 2016, with Double-A Tennessee through 2014, and with Class A Daytona, Peoria and Class A Boise through this season.
• To make room on the 25-man roster for pitchers Alex Hinshaw and Chris Rusin, who made his Major League debut on Tuesday, the Cubs optioned pitcher Jeff Beliveau and infielder Adrian Cardenas to Triple-A Iowa.
Beliveau had a 3.18 ERA, giving up four earned runs over 11 1/3 innings in 11 appearances. Cardenas was batting .234 with six doubles and two RBIs in 32 games.
Both were expected back with the big league team Sept. 1 when rosters expand.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.