Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Cubs' Wood making a case for 2013 rotation
By Doug Padilla
Travis Wood apparently intends on using the final month to announce that he’s taking a rotation spot to open the 2013 season for the Chicago Cubs.
Travis Wood gave up one earned run in 7 2/3 innings against the Astros on Wednesday.
After an eight-decision losing streak that wasn’t all his fault, Wood has shown resiliency by allowing just one run over his last two starts.
He actually held the Astros scoreless Wednesday night before he gave up a double in the eighth inning and was removed from the game. Shawn Camp then gave up an RBI single with the run charged to Wood.
It certainly seems like Wood is an all-or-nothing pitcher. He was hit hard in the spring, improved at Triple-A Iowa and when he finally made it to the Cubs, he went on an impressive four-start run where he won each game and gave up only three combined runs.
Immediately after that came the eight losses, with the Cubs actually losing all 10 games he pitched in that stretch. Wood wasn’t as bad as the won-loss meter might have suggested. He gave up three runs or less in six of those 10 starts and two runs or less in four of them.
The Cubs aren’t expected to spend big money for pitching on the free-agent market this offseason but are expected to add just like they did last winter. That’s when they brought aboard not only Paul Maholm as a free agent, but traded for Wood.
So how many starters will they add this offseason to the battle for rotation spots?
“There (are) obviously some pieces that we have to put together and the more competition and the more you have the better off you’re going to be,” manager Dale Sveum said this weekend.
Well if two, or even three new starters come aboard, Wood would be wise to start making his case for a starting spot now and that is exactly what he has done.
The Cubs are looking at Jeff Samardzija and Matt Garza atop the rotation with Wood in the mix as well. The left-hander figures to get four more starts to state his case.
If Wood and his 6-11 record don’t sound thrilling, perhaps it’s best to look at a different number. Despite his recent losing streak, Wood has actually posted a 3.20 ERA since Aug. 1.