Well, the Cubs’ healthy early season is evaporating quickly. Like the 3-10 start wasn’t enough.

Today the Cubs placed Kerry Wood on the disabled list with his continued shoulder problem. Apparently the optimism that he would be able to pitch today was misguided. Instead, the Cubs will add lefty reliever Scott Maine to the pen. Maine, who didn’t show enough in Spring Training to make the team, currently sports a 1.42 ERA at AAA Iowa over 6.1 innings. He’s allowed just four base runners in those innings.

The bigger news, though, is that Ryan Dempster – the Cubs’ best pitcher, if not player, through the first few weeks – has a sore right quad, and has already had an MRI taken. The Cubs haven’t revealed the results yet, but Randy Wells has been brought to Chicago from Iowa in case Dempster can’t make his scheduled start on Sunday. That’s usually not a good sign.

Wood’s stay on the 15-day DL might not last a full 15 days from today. Because he didn’t pitch this week in Miami, the Cubs can backdate his stay to last Saturday.

  • ETS

    Wow. That news about Demp is disturbing.

    Also, I would think T Wood would be ahead of Wells on the depth chart.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Wood just pitched.  Well’s next scheduled start is today.  Otherwise, I think we would have seen Wood instead.

      • CubFan Paul

        Wells hasn’t kept the ball enough to warrant a call up

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          The only other option would have been Casey Coleman, who is due to start on Saturday (I think).  Sunday’s Iowa starter would probably be Rusin, but Rusin isn’t on the 40 man.

          • ETS

            Rusin’s last start was also unfortunate. Coleman has been okay, but I still would be uncomfortable putting him in Chicago. Great point on Wood just pitching though. I some how hadn’t thought of that.

  • Kyle

    When you need a starting pitcher, bring up the guy with the ERA of almost 10 at AAA.

    Try to hide the tanking a little harder, guys. The league might get angry if you make it too obvious.

    • djriz

      Man, I wish it was really ‘tanking’

      They just s…!

    • CubFan Paul


  • Ron

    Setting up worst to first.2013 go Cubs!

  • RY34

    jesus christ, the hits just keep on rolling, amazing.

  • Spencer

    Two lefties in the bullpen?! What an innovative idea.

  • MikeL

    I think Mr. Ricketts is going to be stunned at the dramatic drop in attendance this year……it will probably be the last thing he could’ve anticipated. I understand building through the farm system…but you have to put enough money in to be at least somewhat competitive at the major league level in a big market.

    • Wilbur

      You may be right. Fans may not come out the second half of the year, but when they start winning they will return.

      • ThereWillBeCubs

        There won’t be a “steep” decline, but the decline is already happening:

        source: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/cubsatte.shtml

        year average season total NL average season net
        2002 33,248 2,693,071 2,309,294 383,777
        2003 37,032 2,962,630 2,273,813 688,817
        2004 39,138 3,170,184 2,512,690 657,494
        2005 38,753 3,100,262 2,583,685 516,577
        2006 39,040 3,123,215 2,598,741 524,474
        2007 40,153 3,252,462 2,756,384 496,078
        2008 40,743 3,300,200 2,755,082 545,118
        2009 39,610 3,168,859 2,571,627 597,232
        2010 37,814 3,062,973 2,563,111 499,862
        2011 37,259 3,017,966 2,547,018 470,948

        The attendance has been in decline since 2008. Jackson and Rizzo being on the verge of a call up will help reduce the decline, but they may fall below 3 million this season. They are still well above the NL average though.

        With limited sources of revenue though, why would they slash ticket prices when they know the team won’t be that competitive?

        Why does everyone act like they’ve been suffering the entire 103 years. Like the front office punched their kid in the gut?

        The organizational overhaul and priority of Wrigley renovations makes me feel more optimistic about sustained success than the prospect of signing a Pujols or Fielder.

        This isn’t a patch-up job.

        • Kyle

          It’s already happening.

          The announced attendance today was 37k, but as Bruce Miles put it on Twitter, knock a “3” off

          • Shawon O’Meter

            Kyle, let me ask, do you live in Chicago? Today is absolutely miserable and the fact that less than 10,000 was in the park should be of no surprise.

            • Kyle

              I live near enough to Chicago to know what it felt like there today.

              And Wrigley being miserable in April isn’t new, but this is still the first year in quite some time that the attendance has gotten this bad.

              • Shawon O’Meter

                I am going to do this Kyle-style and be as smug and arrogant as possible in my response:

                Team performance had NOTHING to do with today’s attendance…period! The current conditions including a 25 mph wind out of the North, and the fact that it felt like 34 degrees did. Please try again.

                • Kyle

                  Odd time to jump on the bandwagon, but I can only assume that it would take a brand new Cubs fan to think that this is the first cold and windy April day in Wrigley Field history.

                  Hint: It’s always miserable in April. The ballpark isn’t always this empty.

                  • Shawon O’Meter

                    Much like an organ grinder monkey, The All-Knowing Kyle never disappoints with the wry replies. Thanks for playing.

                    • ThereWillBeCubs

                      I think the issue here is what defines progress.

                      I like the organizational and revenue changes, and I think that will translate into more W’s down the road. Why buy a 1B-man when you can develop one for $200MM less?

                      In the meantime, the team is struggling and will probably continue to do so without any substantive changes in personnel. I think this is Kyle’s point.

                      I think what everybody is finding out, is that it’s tough to rebuild and maintain at the same time. The front office has clearly stated that they will defer to sustained success and that they will not pay for past performance.

                      I have no doubt that we could have signed Pujols, Fielder, and Cespedes (not all together) but were not able to do so on our terms. Pujols and Fielder were about contract length (we would have paid more annually) and with Cespedes it was about team control. We had to draw the line some place. This is a big difference between the current front office and the Hendry-era Cubs.

          • ThereWillBeCubs

            I second this.

            I think the fact that it was a day game, cold as shit, and Volstad 4-run first inning contribute more to today’s attendance than the Cub’s record.

            The empty threat of drastic attendance drop off’s seems petulant to me, especially for something that will happen anyway… although more subtly over time.

            One year ago we were bitching about dead weight contracts but we are so quick to forget.

  • RY34

    great first inning you piece of stuff volstad!

  • ThereWillBeCubs

    Did anybody realistically think this team was going to be better than last year’s? The 2011 team didn’t have a three game win streak until like June or July.

    This team needs to flat out rebuild. They can’t announce it due to their market status and the drop off in negotiating leverage.

    As close as they’ve come, the Cubs have only been in the playoffs 3 times the last 10 years. That simply will not cut it.

    Here’s what “successful teams” have done in that same span (since the 2002 season):
    Team, Playoff appearances (WS appearances, WS wins)
    1. Cardinals, 6 (3, 2)
    2. Red Sox, 6 (2, 2)
    3. Yankees, 9 (2, 1)
    4. Phillies, 5 (2, 1)
    5. Rays, 3 (1, 0)
    6. Rangers, 2 (2, 0)

    The Twins have made the playoffs 6 times, the Braves 5, and the White Sox twice.

    I totally get the “loose accountability” but it seems like people need Theo/Ricketts to declare a 90-win season in 2014 to justify the current moves (or lack of moves) being made. That announcement will never happen.

    (Edit) Source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/

  • Jeff L

    Hey 3 in the last 10 years is an amazing decade for the Cubs in a whole… The way things are going with this team now we will be lucky to get one playoff appearance in the next decade unless Ricketts opens up his wallet wide open!!!

    • TWC

      Hey, Jeff, you forgot to bitch about ticket prices.

  • RY34

    i would just be happy with a winning season, this loser suck season will make 4 in a row with no end in sight.

    • Shawon O’Meter

      You would make a horrible Pittsburgh Pirates fan 😉 Patience, my friends. Yes, this season will be an abomination if your enjoyment is based on wins and losses, but we are in the “planting the seeds” phase. Not much excitement in the beginning, but patience and faith hopefully will be rewarded with winning in the near future. You are either with us, or against us…pick a side and enjoy the ride!

    • David

      correction ry34 i see an end in sight in about 2-3 years

  • Stu

    Good to see Soto/Byrd going 0-6. Keep sending them out. Lahair has a couple of hits, time to bench him for Baker. Stop getting hits, we only play hitters who are “due” to come out of slump.

    Love the logic.

    • David

      stu, you keep playing players so they can get out of a slump…they wont get out of a slump being on the bench and if you try trading byrd or soto the only way tht can happen is if u play them every day

    • Ced landrum

      Well in fairness soto was 2-4 yesterday

  • Steve

    I’ll bet anyone, right now, if Wells starts Sunday he’ll go 6 and give up 3 or less. Any takers? I have a Lincoln on it….

    • Shawon O’Meter

      And that proves exactly what point? The Cubs could send out Roy Halladay and Felix Hernandez at this point they they would struggle to win games with this anemic offense and below average defense. Wells, Marshall, Cashner, and Campana pitch fork clans…give it a rest.

  • RY34

    soto and byrd coming out of a slump anytime this year, now that is just plain comical! just release byrd, anyone who actually thinks we will ever get more than jack shit for byrd is a fool!
    this team will set the record for most losses in a season and the longest losing streak in a season.

  • Kevin

    I’m ok hitting rock bottom if it gives us all optimism for the future. Theo and Jed are not dumb period. Did they give us any reason to expect anything at all in 2012? Have faith my friends.

    • die hard

      Blind Faith rocked when it comes to music, not the Cubs….Which contender in need for one more bat to make WS would trade 3 top prospects for Castro?… get their phone no and call them soon and make the trade

  • Kevin

    I don’t think any player is unavailable for the right package of decent prospects.

  • Derek

    Did anyone read Angel Guzman got suspended for 50 games for failing a drug test.

  • ty

    Injury plagued rhp who had sweet stuff when he was healthy. Rehabbed time after time.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    Anybody who thinks Wood should be front of Wells is ridiculous. Wells should already be in Chicago, Theo knows it, that why he gets the call. Once he’s there, I guarantee he doesn’t go back down.