It was a relatively healthy Spring Training for the Chicago Cubs, and the season started off that way, too. It’s a little less healthy now, but this was probably to be expected.
Set-up man, and frequent disabled list resident, Kerry Wood headed back to Chicago today to receive a cortisone shot in his shoulder. Apparently the shoulder started bothering him quite a bit after his weekend appearance in St. Louis.
“We’re trying to get him right,” GM Jed Hoyer told reporters today. “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.”
“Soon” is as soon as Friday, and Jed said that the Cubs are hoping to avoid a DL trip. There’s no bs’ing there, because, if the Cubs thought Wood’s issue was serious, they wouldn’t hamstring themselves by playing down a pitcher. They’d just DL Wood and call someone up.
As far as the long-term implications, however, I’m less optimistic. As Kevin Goldstein correctly notes, a pitcher getting a cortisone injection into his shoulder in the third week of the season is never a good sign.
Moreover, remember how little Wood pitched in Spring Training? Remember how the Cubs insisted it wasn’t really injury related, and was just about making sure Wood was in the best shape come the season?
Well, that wasn’t entirely untrue, but neither was it 100% accurate. Hoyer says that Wood was feeling some of this shoulder issue during Spring Training, and that’s why he was held back. Swell.
If you’re a masochist like me, you’re thinking about Wood’s early season brutal performances out of the pen that cost the Cubs two games…