Wood Sent Back to Chicago with Shoulder Issue

What was played off in Spring Training as the team trying to save Kerry Wood’s innings for the regular season, has turned into an issue less than two weeks into the year.

Kerry Wood left the team Tuesday and flew back to Chicago to receive a cortisone shot in his right shoulder. According to Comcast SportsNet, “if the shoulder responds, the Cubs hope Wood will be available by the weekend. If not, there’s the possibility that Wood could land on the disabled list for the 16th time in his career.”

As Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein put it, “When pitchers are getting cortisone shots in a shoulder before the season is two weeks old that is not a good sign.”

Kerry Wood said there was nothing physically wrong with him that kept him from pitching for a 10-day stretch in Spring Training. Wood ended up throwing only five innings in the Cactus League then struggled mightily in the first two games against the Washington Nationals.

Wood felt some discomfort Tuesday during an early workout at Marlins Park after his shoulder flared up again following his outing Friday in St. Louis.

Jed Hoyer said the problem has been “sort of off and on” since the beginning of the spring. Hoyer explained they are “trying to get him right” but admitted that he doesn’t “have all the years and years of background with him” and knows Wood’s arm “is always something that is touch-and-go.”

Hoyer said, “It wasn’t so much he felt like he was hurt. It just didn’t feel right. So we tried to back off a little bit, try to let him gather some strength and it hasn’t worked so far. We’ll keep trying.”

With Kerry Wood out until at least Friday the bullpen will be one man short. It will be up to Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija to be as effective and as efficient as possible in the two remaining games against the Marlins. Rafael Dolis basically pitched two innings Tuesday night and figures to be unavailable Wednesday, that would leave Shawn Camp, Lendy Castillo, James Russell, Rodrigo Lopez and Carlos Marmol in the backend of Dale Sveum’s pen.

Stay Tuned …

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