Monday, May 02, 2005


Looks like I picked the wrong season to quit sniffing glue

The faint haze of a slight cold has its advantages: everything feels somewhat like a dream sequence. It gives me a chance pretend that this last month was only a product of too much falafel before bedtime rather than a result of Dusty's pixie dust.

Wasn't this team supposed to sport one of the best pitching staffs in the National League? Wasn't that supposed to make up for an anemic offense? Well, the offense has been better that expected (thank you Derrek Lee), but the pitching staff hasn't kept up its end. And frustration is starting to set in for this poor goatrider.

But change is in the air my friends, and it smells like Wood is heading to the DL. He is sure to miss a start at first, but once it is clear that he needs further bedrest for his weary right arm, he will be shuttled off to the DL. Unless the upcoming MRI shows actual damage, I would expect Wood to stay on the DL for the minimum 15 days, and then return to the rotation (which not long ago would have been a good thing).

You want to hear something amazing? Wood is only 27. I find that amazing, as it seems like he should be at least 29. Actually, given his brittleness, it seems like he should be 49 (but that is neither here nor there). I'm thinking if he can make it another couple of seasons without a career ending surgery we are going to see Wood have a huge season...right about the time he signs with the Braves.

Speaking of bad pitchers with arm problems, Dempster should be seeing some bullpen time pretty soon. The Cubs might plan to possibly install Dempster as the closer d'jour with Rusch maybe moving into the rotation (even for this intrepid reporter, it is hard to get straight answers out of the Cubs). Would Dempster be good as the Cubs' closer(s)? Probably not, but he can't really be worse than Hawkins. Plus, Hawkins will move back to his happy place and Rusch will get to start, where he would offer the Cubs the most utility. All this is made possible by a very generous schedule where the Cubs will have 3 off days in the next three weeks, which allows them to release Wood back into his natural habitat (the DL, naturally. But that was obvious, right?) and go with four starters.

So just to recap, here is out new pitching staff if everything I mentioned above comes to fruition (never gonna happen):



Could be worse, actually. I feel better with Rusch in the rotation than Wood right now, and when Wood is healthy (ETA:2007) he can slide into the fifth starter role.

The Cubs have an important 3 game series against Milwaukee coming up (as it turns out, they are all important) and have a decent shot at taking 2 out of 3 against Milwaukee. Lyle Overbay should be questionable for the series as he required 17 stiches after taking a header into a wall, opening a new orific on his face. That will lead into a six game home stand against Philly and New York, two teams that have stuggled slighly more than the Cubs. We have a chance to have a decent next 9 games, but I always say that and it never really works out that way. So I will make no predictions and rather just say that I hope things start to turn around. The Cubs are just 3.5 games out, so it is not like all is lost. It just seems that way sometimes.

As you probably already know, Wood is out for 3 weeks during which time he is to do NOTHIHNG. THEN he will begin to rehab. Don't exppect to see his blazing straight ball until after the all star break. Correct me if I'm wrong but has Wood yet had a complete season without injury?

Too late to trade him for water bucket and a new glove?
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