Kerry Wood and Mark Prior could start the season on the Chicago Cubs’ disabled list. In a move that surprised no-one yet frustrated many, Cubs manager Lou Piniella declared yesterday that the status of his two hurlers is still up in the air. For Prior, a career that so sparklingly began in 2003 when he propelled the Cubs to the NLCS has come to a screeching halt. The 26-year-old was 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA last season before bowing out with a strained right shoulder late in the summer. He is 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA in two spring appearances, allowing seven runs in only 3 1-3 innings.
Wood, who strained his right triceps while pitching against Milwaukee on March 11, threw 25 pitches off a mound in Mesa, AZ on Monday. The swashbuckling Texan still has not fully recovered from a torn right rotator cuff that seriously hampered his long-term prospects.
At best, Wood would secure a spot on the active roster as a one-inning reliever, a far cry from the his twenty strikeout performance at Wrigley during his rookie campaign.
In a related story, Cubs fans everywhere have begun to relate to Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”. As cinema-goers were left to ponder how many times Phil Connors would dreadfully awake to I Got You Babe, baseball fans throughout the country are left to answer a similar question: How much more of this repetitive disappointment can the Chicago faithful take? As far as I see it, we’re two seasons away from another devastating fire. Sell your houses, people.
And it’s official – Harry Carey is rolling over in his grave.