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Wood to throw Sunday in Peoria, possibly return in 2 weeks



According to Cubs.com, Kerry Wood is likely to make his first official minor league rehab start on Sunday in Peoria for the Single A Peoria Chiefs.

"Wood threw five shutout innings against rookie leaguers Tuesday in Mesa, Ariz., allowing one hit and striking out eight. The Cubs said Wood's fastball was clocked at 94 to 96 m.p.h., suggesting his arm strength is back after eight months of rehabilitation from shoulder surgery."

Speculation is that Kerry Wood could return to the rotation as soon as May 17th against the Nationals at Wrigley Field. When Wood returns to the rotation is it likely to push Angel Guzman or Rich Hill from the rotation, depending on who performs best in the next couple of weeks. Obviously Guzman's last outing did not do much to help him, and its believed that Guzman and Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild are at odds after Rothschild expressed his dislike of Guzman's mechanics following his first start. Speculation has it that this is part of the reason for Guzman's poor performance against the Pirates in his last start.

When (and if) Kerry Wood returns to the rotation it would give the Cubs a decent rotation, consisting of Carlos Zambrano, Greg Maddux, Kerry Wood, Hill/Guzman and Sean Marshall. Marshall is unlikely to lose his spot in the rotation upon the return of Kerry Wood given his success this season.

What can we expect from Kerry when he returns? His velocity is back to normal and it would appear that he'll have a "fresh arm" for the first time in quite a while. In 2000, following surgery surgery in 1999, Wood was 8-7 with a 4.80 ERA in 23 starts. In 2000 Wood made his first start on May 2nd against the Astros and picked up the win. He then got roughed up in his next 3 starts (v. Pirates, @ Expos and @ Rockies), giving up at least 5 runs in each of the three games. Wood's numbers got better as he pitched, and in July Wood won 3 of his 5 starts and only gave up a combined 5 runs in his 2 no decisions.

Can we expect great things from Kerry Wood when he returns? No. You can never count on an injured pitcher to come back healthy and ready to go. Kerry Wood is the perfect example.

Just don't forget that when he was injured in years past he was considered one of the best pitchers in the rotation and as a result its very possible that Wood pressed things a bit. This year he'll be returning to a rotation led by Greg Maddux and Carlos Zambrano. Wood will probably be considered the 3rd or 4th starter when he returns and as a result the pressure wont be as bad. Hopefully.

Its still a couple of weeks away, but Kerry Wood's return is finally within sight. I just hope the Cubs can hang in the playoff race until he returns.

Link: http://www.cubshub.com/article.php?story=20060503160825133


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
That's great news for the Cubs but they shouldn't get their hopes up too high because threw is career Kerry Wood was known as injury prone type of player. We shall see soon enough if it's the same case after he comes back or if he's going to stay healthy and help the Cubs win the Divison and take them far in the playoffs.