Injury Update and the "New Whipping Boy"
The cubs have a much needed day off today (need to be at 100% to sweep Boston to redeem ourselves from the 1918 series) so I'm going to talk a little about our pitching situation. There's a blurb ESPN's cubs page about the status of our two injured pitching superstars. Both Wood and Prior seem to be making progress. Wood has pitched a "simulation" game and will probably head to the minors soon for some rehab work. Prior is able to play catch and recently threw about ten pitches. Neither has a return date yet. Here's a quote from the ESPN piece:
"He [Wood] threw 45 pitches, facing hitters Jose Macias and Enrique Wilson. Wood was unsure if he was going to throw another simulated game before going to the minor leagues on a rehab assignment. He reported no pain throwing any of his pitches."
Not only does it sound like Wood is making progress but it seems as if someone is trying to build up his confidence having him pitch to Macias.
So, our "big guns" are making progress but with the way our young guys are stepping up, I don't think we need to rush them back (by the way, I have to agree that Mitre is the guy to keep up when Wood gets back). Give Wood and Prior as much time as they need and make sure that when they do return, they can have a decent outing. The last thing I want to see is Wood start a game then have to leave in the third because he's not fully rehabilitated.
Corey Patterson. Some fellow Cubs bloggers have really been hard on CP as of late. Granted Corey has partially brought this on himself while talking big (saying he should be the number three hitter) and sporting a huge ego while not producing. More than a few are declaring calling CP the "new whipping boy" since LaTroy is gone. Well, until Patterson single-handedly blows multiple games for us, I'm not going to promote him to whipping boy status. Like so many other cubbies, CP has had some "WTF!" moments but also some streaks of brilliance (of course, I'm referring to his errant throw in the fifth on Tuesday and then gunning down Toronto's Wells in the eighth). He's also been sporadic at the plate (slumping actually). In the past week he' batting a meager .174 but his season average is still hovering around .260. I can't help but bring up Ramirez here. A couple of weeks ago Aramis was really struggling at the plate but he's found his swing again and has been hot in the past ten days. What am I getting at? Corey will shape up (maybe add to his ridiculous solo HR count of ten) and we'll have a new "whipping boy" in a couple of weeks (Macias perhaps?).
That's all I have...thoughts?