<
>

Travis Wood expected to have short stay

CHICAGO -- Travis Wood will catch at least one break when he makes his first start of the season, but doesn’t figure to catch a second.

The Chicago Cubs left-hander will not have to face the Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp, who was a late scratch Sunday with left hamstring tightness. The less imposing lineup probably still isn’t enough to prevent him from heading back to Triple-A Iowa very quickly.

Wood, who was activated to the big league roster Sunday so that he could start in place of a sick Matt Garza, is expected to be headed back to the minor leagues after the game.

“We’ll see what happens,” manager Dale Sveum said. “We’re probably still going to have to do some kind of move there after the game because he won’t be available [to pitch] for three or four days.”

If Wood goes down, the Cubs will still have their full complement of pitchers so they will look to fill the void left by Blake DeWitt, who was designated for assignment early Sunday to make roster room for Wood.

Speculation on how the Cubs might fill the roster spot if Wood goes down has centered on middle infielder Adrian Cardenas, who is batting .326 at Iowa. His 17 RBIs are second on the team only to Anthony Rizzo's 25.

Interestingly, when Cardenas was claimed off waivers in February, DeWitt was taken off the 40-man roster. DeWitt then beat out Cardenas for a big league job this spring, but Cardenas could wind up with the utility role now.