The Cubs have played nine games to this point in Spring Training and probably the biggest story thus far is the arthroscopic surgery Kerry Wood had on his right knee last Tuesday in Los Angeles. When the Cubs Faithful heard Woody was going under the knife again the shock waves were felt from Chicago to Mesa. A report on Cubs.com on Friday indicated Wood is ahead of schedule with his knee rehab and is back on his shoulder rehab. Mark Prior threw batting practice on Thursday and is expected to throw again soon.
Every media outlet, including this one, is talking about every single Cubs player in Mesa, except for one….Wade Miller.
(Updated 10:28am C.S.T. 3/11) Before the Spring Training games got underway, the last I heard on Miller was that he was progressing ahead of schedule and could be ready to join the Cubs in May, When I was in Mesa (and the surrounding areas) last week, Wade Miller was nowhere to be found, So where is the Cubs new million dollar man?
Kerry Wood has the promise of greatness. He has the tools. He can dominate a game; now say this with me….when he’s healthy. But so can Wade Miller….again say it with me….when he’s healthy. Here are the numbers:
Both Wood and Miller have not made more than 22 starts since 2003. Wood started 22 in 2004 and 10 in 2005. Miller started 15 in 2004 and 16 in 2005. Kerry’s best season was in 2003. He was 14-11 with a 3.20 ERA. He started 32 games, had 4 complete games and 266 strikeouts in 211 innings….and the Cubs made the playoffs. Miller’s best season was 2001. He was 16-8 with a 3.40 ERA. He started 32 games and had 183 strikeouts in 212 innings. Wood has never won 16 games in a season and Miller has only done that once. Both are rehabbing from off-season shoulder surgery and are expected to be in the Cubs starting rotation by June.
The Cubs pitching staff has been shaky at best this spring. Maddux pitched well in his first outing, although he walked the bases loaded. He pitched his way out of trouble and did not allow a run. Zambrano looked good last Thursday against the Oakland A’s, but now he is with Team Venezuela in the WBC and is scheduled to start for his country on Tuesday. Prior has only thrown 30 pitches to live batters. Glendon Rusch and Jerome Williams have been inconsistent in their first two outings. Rich Hill and Angel Guzman could benefit from more experience at a higher level in the minors to become successful in the Major Leagues.
The Cubs Faithful live and breathe on promise….the promise of Opening Day, the promise of tomorrow and the promise of next year. This year the promise of a starting rotation with the likes of Zambrano, Prior, Maddux, Wood and Miller is what we are all hoping for.
Mike Kelly from the Chicago Sun-Times ran an article on Saturday morning with an update on Wade Miller. According to Kelly, Miller threw 10 pitches off the mound on Thursday. In the same article, Kelly talks about Sean Marshall having a good spring….he looked good last weekend in Mesa. I decided to turn off the old alarm this morning, this will teach me. This site does its best to be ahead of the curve and I think we did with this article. Wade Miller and Kerry Wood could be big keys to any success the 2006 Cubs will have. From this Irishman….have one for the CCO today!!!