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Travis Wood's issues on many levels

3/20/2012

MESA, Ariz. -- Despite his somber appearance following another poor spring outing Monday, Chicago Cubs pitcher Travis Wood said he is as determined as ever to deliver better results.

Wood gave up seven runs on seven hits over two-plus innings Monday, leaving him with a 25.07 ERA in his three Arizona outings.

He was probably out of consideration for a job on the Opening Day roster even before his latest blow up. The only question now is: What do the Cubs do with him the rest of the spring?

“Things just aren’t going my way right now, trying to work on some new stuff,” Wood said Tuesday. “It’s just a battle.”



Getting Wood back on track seems to be an exercise on multiple levels.

“I think it’s a combination of confidence, which is obviously the mental side of it, and physical, being able to throw your secondary pitches,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Whether you throw a ball or it didn’t come out of your hand right, it’s to be able to have the confidence and the ability to get right back on the mound and throw that pitch again and make a quality pitch and make adjustments on the fly again. Right now I think it’s more confidence than anything.”

Wood suggested the new stuff he was working on wasn’t drastic enough to alter his results to the degree he is struggling in spring training.

“It’s more just working, throwing pitches in different counts and building a different kind of repertoire with different locations and stuff,” Wood said. “Other than that it’s all the same. I just have to do better.”

The left-hander knows what the perception has become: that the trade to bring him to the Cubs has been a bad deal.

“You get traded for a guy like [Sean] Marshall, who is an outstanding pitcher. you want to come over here and show them what you can do and I haven’t been,” he said. “But it’s all going to work out. I’m going to get it together and get after it.”

The Cubs still want Wood to be stretched out so he can at least start at Triple-A Iowa when the season begins. Where he continues to pitch this spring remains up in the air.

According to Sveum, Wood will probably get a start in a minor-league game, “as well as coming into a ballgame piggy-backing somebody, or just doing a lot of work down in minor-league camp as well.”