CHICAGO -- Travis Wood made a positive impression Sunday, but not one that was good enough for him to stick around.
The Chicago Cubs announced Monday that Wood was sent back to Triple-A Iowa, one day after he had been recalled and delivered a solid six innings on the mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers in place of a flu-ridden Matt Garza.
Infielder Adrian Cardenas was recalled in Wood’s place and will essentially take over the spot left vacant when Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment Sunday to free up a roster spot for Wood.
Like DeWitt, Cardenas can play second base, third base and left field. Cardenas can also give the Cubs some coverage at shortstop. Starting shortstop Starlin Castro has played every inning of every game so far this season.
“I was playing second mostly and bounced around and play short and third base,” Cardenas said. “I got about four games in the other positions.”
The former shortstop said that second base feels like home now.
“Yeah, simply because I have played there my whole career pretty much,” he said. “I grew up a shortstop but transferred over to second base after my first year in professional baseball. I’m getting to the point now where I have had enough games at short, enough games at third, even enough games at left field where I feel good and confident.”
Wood heads back Iowa leaving the Cubs coaching staff confident in a rotation option if a spot arises in the near future. It’s a far cry from spring training when Wood struggled mightily and was taken out of consideration for a big league job almost as soon as Cactus League games began.
“No doubt, he did a good job,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He settled down and had command. He’s come up with a slider which is helping a lot. He had command of that with the left-handers. It’s going to be equally important to get the command of that slider as well as throwing his changeup and his curveball. But more importantly the slider and changeup are pivotal to him.”
Sveum seems confident he will end up being just as impressed with Cardenas when he needs him to pinch hit in the late innings or fill in as a starter on occasion.
“He doesn’t strike out, he’ll walk and there’s his on-base percentage,” Sveum said of Cardenas. “And I don’t even know if he had a bad at-bat at spring training from what I saw. We’re capable of watching all the video now from the minor leagues and he doesn’t have too many poor at-bats.”
At Iowa, Cardenas was batting .319 with a .376 on-base percentage. His 18 RBIs were second to Anthony Rizzo’s 25, and he struck out just five times with 11 walks.