MIAMI Kerry Wood was said to be feeling some relief after Wednesdays cortisone shot into his right shoulder. The Cubs hope it accelerates his timetable and clears him for the weekend.
If Woods shoulder doesnt respond by Friday its been bothering him off and on since the beginning of spring training the Cubs will have to consider putting him on the disabled list and bringing up another arm from Triple-A Iowa.
Either way, the Cubs know they will have to monitor Woods situation and manage his workload.
You have the concerns, manager Dale Sveum said. Theres a track record there. So like we talked about earlier about using him: When he gets up, he gets in the game.
Well see what happens when the weather gets better (if hell be) throwing back-to-back days. Itll still be an every-other-day thing until we know that hes feeling great and hes really strong.
In the meantime, the Cubs will lean on rookie Rafael Dolis as a setup guy, and hope left-hander James Russell grows into higher-leverage situations.
You try to mix and match a little bit from numbers if it comes up that way, Sveum said. (With Dolis, well) try to get him out there more and more and more and see if his stuff gets better with him being a little more tired.
A lot of times, (pitchers) with those kinds of sinkers are better when theyre keeping the ball at 92, 93 mph than they are at 95 or 97. The ball will flatten out a little bit.
The Cubs bullpen entered Wednesday with the worst ERA in the National League (5.72). Theyre in wait-and-see mode with Wood, and some young pitchers who are going to have to step up in his absence.