Results tagged ‘ Kerry Wood ’

5/8 Wood can’t get a break

It was a rough night for Kerry Wood. With the game tied at 1 in the Braves eighth, Michael Bourn singled off Wood, who then walked Martin Prado. Prado was forced at second on Freddie Freeman’s fielder’s choice. Wood then walked Brian McCann to load the bases, and after a visit from pitching coach Chris Bosio, Dan Uggla singled to center, driving in two runs. That was enough for a 3-1 Braves win.

“I made pretty good pitches tonight,” Wood said. “The walk to McCann with a base open, I’m not going to give in to him. I made a good pitch, I thought, to Uggla and turned around and we had the shift on, and when things are going bad, you don’t get breaks and I didn’t get any tonight. I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

Wood, 34, was making his second appearance since coming off the disabled list and now has given up seven runs on six hits and six walks over 4 1/3 innings in six games.

“The shoulder is great and that’s the frustrating thing,” said Wood, who was sidelined with right shoulder fatigue. “I bounced back from the [cortisone] injection and the shoulder feels great, stuff feels fine. I actually threw some good curveballs tonight for the first time in a while. It’s all about results and I didn’t have any tonight.”

The Cubs picked off McCann at second base to end the inning and as Wood left the field, he threw his glove and cap into the seats in frustration. He chose not to address the incident.

“It’s irrelevant,” Wood said to reporters. “Why the [heck] would you bring that up?”

“It’s frustrating,” manager Dale Sveum said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re young or a veteran guy. If you give up a couple runs and he walked a couple guys, it’s frustrating.”

– Carrie Muskat 

5/4 Marmol out as closer

When your closer leads the team in walks, that’s not a good sign. Dale Sveum had seen enough, and called Carlos Marmol into his office on Friday to tell the right-hander that for now, he was no longer the Cubs closer.

“I just told Marmol be ready to pitch at any time,” Sveum said Friday. “It just got to that point to where we have to get him productive in some role. He was fine with it and understood. Hopefully, we can get him going and give him another chance.”

Part of the problem is that Marmol keeps throwing the slider and on Thursday in Cincinnati, might have escaped the mess in the ninth with a well located fastball. Bottom line, he has to throw strikes. Against the Reds, Marmol blew a 3-0 lead and gave up three runs, and the Cubs eventually lost, 4-3, in 10 innings. He has now walked 12 over 8 2/3 innings.

James Russell and rookie Rafael Dolis will share the duties, depending on matchups.

“You always hope somebody steps up and takes control of any situation and any role you give somebody,” Sveum said. “It’s not the easiest thing to do in the world, to get the last three outs in the game. We’re going to play it by ear and whatever matchups come up in the ninth inning, that’s who we’ll use.”

Using Russell in that role will severely limit the Cubs. He’s the only left-hander. Sveum is stuck because the Cubs want to keep Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo, who is trying to make the jump from Class A to the big leagues, and neither Michael Bowden nor Shawn Camp have options left.

Will Marmol ever get his job back?

“He knows he has to get better and find it,” Sveum said. “I left that window open for him. If he starts pitching well and getting command back and stuff like that, there’s no reason I wouldn’t put him back in the closing role if he finds it again.”

Sveum continued his conversation with Marmol in left field during batting practice, and then Kerry Wood talked to Marmol on the field as well Friday.

– Carrie Muskat 

5/3 Wells heads back to Iowa

Randy Wells wasn’t happy about being sent down to Triple-A Iowa but the Cubs aren’t going to carry 14 pitchers. Wells and Scott Maine were both optioned to Iowa to make room for Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood, both activated off the disabled list. Maine’s departure leaves the Cubs with one lefty, James Russell, in the bullpen.

“[Maine] did a good job while he was here, a really good job, and it’s very nice to have those two lefties in the bullpen,” Dale Sveum said.

Wells, 29, went 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts for Chicago following his recall April 22. He walked nine and gave up nine hits over 8 2/3 innings.

“It is what it is,” Wells said. “I didn’t pitch well. There’s no one really to blame but yourself. You obviously want to pitch well and put yourself in a good position but the numbers don’t stack up.”

“He’s got a future here,” Sveum said of Wells, “but we can’t sit here and promise anything. Right now, that’s the role he’s in is the swing man, coming up when we need starts.”

The Phillies scored four runs off Wells in the fourth inning on Saturday. Wells, who will be inserted into Iowa’s rotation, was upset at the high number of walks in his two starts.

“The walks are the only thing that spoils this,” the right-hander said. “I thought I pitched pretty good against the Reds [on April 22]. Five walks [stinks]. The fourth inning in Philly, things unraveled. It’s no different than what I’ve been the last three years, it’s one bad inning. Chalk it up as a bad day and get back to work.”

* Wood will be eased into games, and used in less stressful situations such as the sixth and seventh innings, Sveum said.

– Carrie Muskat

4/27 Wood, Dempster updates

Reports out of Philadelphia are that Kerry Wood had a good bullpen session on Friday and will throw a simulated game Monday and should be ready to go without a Minor League rehab appearance. He’s on the DL with right shoulder fatigue and was eligible to be activated Sunday. Ryan Dempster, also sidelined with a strained right quad, was able to throw and run on Friday. He’s making progress.

– Carrie Muskat

4/25 Wood making progress

Kerry Wood, on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue, threw off the mound Tuesday and was continuing to make progress in his rehab.

“Everything’s going good,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday. “He feels a lot better. We’ll just keep building that up. We’re not putting any timetable on his return or anything. We’ll just make sure he’s ready to go when we activate him.”

Wood, 34, was placed on the disabled list last Friday, retroactive to April 14. Sveum said he wants to make sure the right-hander can throw all his pitches before he’s activated. Shawn Camp and Rafael Dolis will take over as the right-handed set-up pitchers while Wood is sidelined.

– Carrie Muskat

4/20 Extra bases: Reds 9, Cubs 4

The Cubs committed three errors Friday which contributed to a loss to the Reds, Chicago’s sixth straight defeat. Chris Volstad (0-2) gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits and two walks over five innings. Bryan LaHair, batting fourth in place of Alfonso Soriano, had two hits.

* Ryan Dempster is questionable for Sunday’s start because of a right quad strain. Dempster underwent an MRI on Friday. Randy Wells was brought to Chicago from Triple-A Iowa in case the Cubs need a starter. Dempster is 0-1 but has a 1.33 ERA in his three starts this season and has struck out 23.

* The Cubs have a Major League low five home runs. The Yankees hit five homers Friday against the Red Sox.

* The Cubs placed Kerry Wood on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 14, with right shoulder fatigue and recalled left-handed reliever Scott Maine from Triple-A Iowa. Maine spent most of last season at Iowa where he went 3-4 with 12 saves and a 3.68 ERA. Wood has appeared in four games, with his last outing one week ago in St. Louis. It’s the 16th time in his career he’s been placed on the DL.

* The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that Dodgers Minor League pitcher Angel Guzman has received a 50-game suspension after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse. The suspension of Guzman, who is currently on the roster of Triple-A Albuquerque, was effective immediately.

* Sports radio host Dan Patrick will lead the Wrigley Field crowd in the seventh inning stretch on Saturday. On Sunday, it will be Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett. On Monday, UIC men’s basketball coach Howard Moore will do the honors. On Tuesday, it will be Loyola men’s basketball coach Porter Moser. On Wednesday, former Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander will sing “Take Me out to the Ballgame.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/18 Wood expected back Friday

Kerry Wood had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder on Wednesday and if all goes well, he could be back in the Cubs bullpen on Friday.

“He said he already felt relief from [the shot], so that’s good,” Dale Sveum said Wednesday.

Wood, 34, returned to Chicago on Tuesday after feeling some discomfort in his shoulder following his last outing last Friday in St. Louis. When Wood does return, the Cubs will be careful in how they use him.

“It’ll still be an every other day thing until we know he’s feeling great and really strong,” Sveum said.

For the two remaining games in Miami, the Cubs will use James Russell or Rafael Dolis in the set-up role.

– Carrie Muskat

4/17 Wood to get cortisone shot

Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood returned to Chicago on Tuesday to get a cortisone shot in his right shoulder but he should be available on Friday when the team opens a homestand against the Reds. Wood felt some discomfort on Tuesday during an early workout at Marlins Park prior to the start of the Cubs three-game series against the Marlins. He’s pitched in four games so far, most recently Friday in St. Louis. The problem with his shoulder flared up after that outing.

“We’re trying to get him right,” GM Jed Hoyer said. “We’re 10 games into a 162 game season and we’re trying to be smart about it. Hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.”

The Cubs are hoping Wood feels better after the cortisone shot and doesn’t need time on the disabled list.

The Cubs limited Wood’s appearances this spring, and apparently the shoulder was a problem at that time, too.

“It wasn’t so much that he was hurt [in Spring Training],” Hoyer said. “It didn’t feel right so we tried to back off a little and let him get some strength. It hasn’t worked so far.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/5 No excuses

Kerry Wood did check the video replay of the pitches he threw in the eighth and had no complaints. Wood took over for Ryan Dempster with the Cubs leading, 1-0, on Opening Day. The Nationals had one on and two outs.

Wood walked the next two batters to load the bases, then walked Jayson Werth to drive in the game-tying run. The questionable call came on an 0-2 pitch to Werth.

“[Catcher Geovany Soto] set up off the plate,” Wood said of the pitch. “It was a purpose pitch — either get him to chase it or get a [strike out] there. I don’t think [DeMuth] missed anything that cost us.”

In the Nationals ninth, Chad Tracy doubled off the right field wall off Carlos Marmol and pinch-runner Brett Carroll then scored on Ian Desmond’s single.

“He took advantage of a good pitch and it dropped,” Marmol said.

When asked if this was like last year, Marmol quickly said, no.

“Last year is over,” Marmol said. “This is a new year. Next question.”

Wood, the elder statesmen on the team, beginning his 12th season, didn’t blame the wind or cold or the light work load this spring. He threw 25 pitches on Thursday to four batters. In his last three spring outings, he threw a total of 22 pitches.

“It’s probably the best Opening Day conditions I’ve been part of in awhile,” Wood said. “No excuses. I didn’t get it done today.”

– Carrie Muskat

4/2 Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 3

What went right:

Kerry Wood needed just 11 pitches to get through the fifth inning Monday, striking out the first batter he faced. It was his final spring outing and he retired the side in the fifth and picked up the win in relief. Manager Dale Sveum predicted pre-game an 11-pitch outing. Wood will leave Arizona with five innings total. The Cubs hope that’s enough.

“[We're] just a little more patient this year,” Wood said. “We get here [to camp] and we’re excited to be around the guys and next thing you know, six days later, we’re facing hitters. We backed it off a little bit.”

At 34 and entering his 15th season, Wood should know how to prepare. His 2011 season ended early because of a torn meniscus in his left knee but that hasn’t slowed him. The light workload may be more preventative than anything else.

“I feel good, my body feels ready to go,” Wood said. “Counting back stuff and side stuff, I’ve been off the mound enough.”

He said his command has been good, he’s been able to throw his cutter to both sides of the plate and just needs to fine tune his curve.

* In the game, Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker and Geovany Soto each had two RBIs, with Soto’s coming on his fourth home run.

What went wrong:

Jay Jackson had a 2-0 lead, then gave up three runs on five hits over four innings. He’ll open the season at Triple-A Iowa.

Quotable:

“It’s coming along. Sometimes it’s a process for people. Sometimes they look too deep into things, especially veteran players in Spring Training. it’s just wait and see what happens during the season. I know Rudy [Jaramillo] and he have talked. It’s been interesting actually. It could be a huge impact on why the numbers haven’t been there the last year.” — Dale Sveum on David DeJesus, who was batting .207 this spring.

Injury report:

* Bryan LaHair was expected to play Tuesday in the Cactus League finale against the Brewers. He has not played since Friday because of tightness in his back. Milwaukee also has a night game Tuesday, so most of the squad will be from the Double-A Huntsville roster.

* Marcos Mateo continues to rehab from right elbow soreness. He will not be ready for Opening Day.

This and that:

* Jeff Samardzija tuned up for the regular season by throwing four scoreless innings at the Cubs Minor League camp. He is scheduled to start April 8 against the Nationals at Wrigley Field.

* The competition for the final bullpen spots is coming down to the wire. There are eight relievers for seven spots. Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood and James Russell are set and Rodrigo Lopez appears to be the long man. Others to be considered include Rafael Dolis, Lendy Castillo, Manuel Corpas and Shawn Camp.

Camp threw Sunday against the Angels and had a better outing, Sveum said.

“Guys like him, they have to stay out of the middle of the plate and keep the ball down otherwise their stuff doesn’t allow them to be in the middle of the plate up,” Sveum said. “He makes the ball go sideways, but he has to be down because his velocity is only 88 miles an hour.”

Up next:

Travis Wood, who will open the season at Triple-A Iowa, will close the Cactus League action on Tuesday against the Brewers. Tuesday’s game will start one hour earlier at 12:05 p.m. Arizona time and be broadcast on WGN Radio. The lineup will be a preview of Opening Day with DeJesus in right, Darwin Barney at second, Starlin Castro at short, LaHair at first, Alfonso Soriano in left, Ian Stewart at third, Marlon Byrd in center, and Geovany Soto catching. The Cubs will use a DH and Reed Johnson was slated to start.

– Carrie Muskat 

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