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…

  • mister_rob

    So sick of Kerry Wood
    If he somehow ends up on the 2013 roster I will puke……for a week straight

  • Bob Warja

    Actually, Brett, he’s had it a lot longer than just this spring. He’s had a bum shoulder for years – remember when he opted not to have it surgically repaired back in 2009 or so? I think he will go as long and as hard as possible and hang it up if it gets too much.

    • Brett

      Oh, absolutely. I just meant this particular flare-up.

      • Bob Warja

        OK gotcha.

    • aCubsFan

      If Wood knew he was having issues over the winter, why then did he stick up the Cubs for an extra million or so. He should have been happy to take the $1.5 or $2 million and moved on.

  • aCubsFan

    This is why I was saying for the price and the annual DL trips it was unwise to sign Wood.

  • Bob Warja

    Oh and by the way, this is a slight knock at Ricketts, who, my sources tell me, “encouraged” Theo/Jed to re-sign Woody when they really didn’t want to.

    • Brett

      That sounds right. Of course, Ricketts had non-baseball reasons to want the Cubs to re-sign Woody. And I could see it making sense, you know?

    • aCubsFan

      Hopefully, Theo and Jed tell Ricketts to keep his nose out of baseball decisions in the future. This money could have been better spent.

    • Gregb

      Are you the same bob from chicago bears bleacher report if so i enjoy your articles is it to early to say go bears?

      • Frank

        It’s never too early to say “Go Bears!”

  • John Thompson

    Hope you have a big bucket!

  • Cubmig

    Wood is the classic Cub; he plays down being “hurt” only to play and hurt the club. I admire Kerry Wood and his standing as a consummate ball player, but he, above anyone else, should know what’s required of him (health-wise) to be effective out on the mound. His heart may have been in the right place, but his body was telling him something else. Hope he fully recovers and regains his old dominating form. I wish him well.

    • TWC


      Yeah, pretty much.

  • JustSwain

    The problem with Wood isn’t that they brought him back, or even the size of his contract, which is pretty small by MLB standards. The problem is that they slotted him into the setup role. First you gut your bullpen by trading Marshall, and moving Smardz to the rotation. O.k. I’m on board with both of those ideas considering the returns we got on them. Then you hand the primary 8th inning duties over to a guy who can’t exactly be called sturdy, and the 9th to a guy who can’t exactly be called consistent. They took some long shots in the lineup and the rotation, which made some sense, but they just plain gutted the bullpen. They needed one more off-season move to shore up the relief corps. I kept waiting for it, but it never happened.

    • aCubsFan

      Like I said, the money no matter if it is above or below market value was ill advised for a guy who hasn’t had one season that he didn’t end up on the DL. And the money could have been used to shore up the bullpen.

  • mark

    Is there anyone who didn’t KNOW that Wood would get injured this year? I totally agree. Wood’s a great guy, but the Cubs didn’t owe him a contract and they shoulda spent the money on someone they had reason to believe would be healthy. We can all argue about the returns on the Marshall and Cashner deals but, c’mon, after those deals something hadda be done for the bullpen. Well, Caridad and Maine seem to be pitching well at Iowa.

  • die hard

    Wood arm problem expected result of knee problem. Could see that coming a mile away . Recall Dizzy Dean coming back too fast from toe problem? The ankle bone is connected to the knee bone and the knee bone to the thigh bone and the thigh bone to the hip bone etc…recall that ditty…still rings true…

  • al

    If Kerry Wood is a leader, great guy, classy, and all the rest he should retire as a player and become a full time mascot.

  • Cubs Dude

    Kerry Wood = Gimp. Always has. It seems the fans really can’t believe anything the front office says. I am excited about what they bring to the table, but at this point I literally believe nothing Theo and Jed say. I know they hide stuff for a reason, but it is a bit irritating.

    • ty

      Well stated cubs dude. Take those C.I.A.trench coats off and just be honest.

  • Cheryl

    Wood will probably retire if the shot doesn’t do any good or he has the problem again. I can’t see him continuing to try to tough it out when he hurts the club in the process. For Wood it isn’t the money, its being a part of the game. He’d do the club more good as an evaluator of potential pitching talant with the draft coming up than now.

  • Cubs Dude

    I really like LaHair offensively. He is patient and goes with the pitch. Great approach. Not sure why he isn’t hitting in the middle of the order when he is clearly the 2nd best hitter on the team.

  • DocPWimsey

    Is the home plate area dirt unusual here? Both Barney’s and Johnson’s choppers looked like AstroTurf chops.

  • czechxican

    don’t worry. I’m sure Kerry will be the first one with a bowling ball in hand, at his next bowling charity event (probably in the next couple of weeks for all I know), like he has the last several years now. You know, you gotta have some kind of activity to do, when you’re DL’n as a Cub pitcher.

    • czechxican

      yeah, that wasn’t a great comment. I take it back. Spoken in frustration. Kerry deserves more, just thought his trip to the DL would be later in the year

  • Jimmy james

    Man things get ugly fast in message board land

  • Cheryl

    Think of what’s happenng this way. It will get better over time. Compared to last year’s team there are more positives than negatves,

  • Cheryl

    Hardtop, Half of April is gone and it looks like you were right. But the commitment for the glove and bat donation is still there.

    • hardtop

      Sadly, I’m not worried.
      I knew we’d suck, but, I was hopeful.


  • Cub Gone Wild

    What in the world are these two geniuses going to o? Our offense sucks 5 days out of 7. We have 3 starting pitchers maybe. 2 that are bad lets face it. Veterans in Soto and Byrd who aren’t doing there jobs and bullpen with no chance at being even mediocre. WTF
    I wasn’t expecting to suck this bad. The GM And President will probably invoke the towel drill this week. This isn’t Pittsburgh or Houston or Seattle. I’m pissed at management for fielding this garbage. I’m sorry losing 80% of the time isn’t going to cut it. Especially when we have veterans who suck taking up spots the future of this team ought to be in. I really don’t care about control years and all that crap. Play the best you got or start giving fans refunds at the gate. After tonight’s game I am just pissed off. Sorry for the rant. Theo Jed your honeymoon is over. You sold us a bag of crap. Now that we know its looks and smells like crap what ya gonna do.

  • Dan

    I’ll be honest, I was surprised Theo and company brought back Wood.

    • Brian

      Under pressure from owners and many Kerry Wood fans. I believe pay him the moon, type contracts were wanted by some, to get him resigned, were discussed. All because he is a real Cub, type thing.