Tuesday, May 3

Stunned - Kerry Wood joining the DL Party

The Chicago Cubs DL: The Wrigley Field Wreckage (in order of breakdown)
RP Scott Williamson -- 60-day DL, rehab from Tommy John surgery
RP Joe Borowski -- 15-day DL, fractured ulnar
2B Todd Walker -- 15-day DL, left knee sprain
SS Nomar Garciaparra -- 15-day DL, left groin injury
RP Chad Fox -- 15-day DL, right elbow injury
SP Kerry Wood -- 15-day DL, shoulder muscle sprain

As I write this, it is just after midnight on May 3rd. We have officially completed one month of the 2005 baseball regular season. Over this 4 week span, 4 important players have joined an already crowded Disabled List, and Kerry Wood is the latest looking at some down time.

MRI results taken after prematurely leaving his start on Saturday vs. Houston have shown him to have strained his supraspinatus muscle in the shoulder, a muscle that is essential in throwing and, well, pitching. This is his 2nd MRI visit of the season, having experienced bursitis in that same shoulder, bursitis that inspired the name of this very site. More relevant now than ever, Kerry is no longer throwing and will most likely not pitch again at any kind of competitive level for at least 6 weeks.

Wood's record for the year is 1-1, 6.35 ERA in 5 starts. In 26 1/3 Innings, he has surrendered 18 runs on 28 hits and 14 walks. He also struck out 33.

So what does all of this mean? It means the Cubs have yet another obstacle to overcome in the race for 2nd. As if things could not get worse, the best weapon in the bullpen, Glendon Rusch, will most likely be moved up to make the starts that Wood will spend suntanning, and someone amazing like Jon Leicester or Todd Wellemeyer will be called up, because apparently Dusty loves mediocrity. It has also been speculated that the Cubs will go with a 4-man rotation of Prior, Maddux, Zambrano and Rusch, with Dempster moving into the bullpen and possibly assuming the closer role.

There is also talk of moving Jose Macias into a dual pinch-hitting/2B/3B duty along with several appearances in short, late-inning relief. I think the theory is that he must be able to throw a ball, because he sure as shit can't hit one.


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