Chicago Cubs looking for Kerry Wood’s backup – MLB News
The Chicago Cubs’ manager Dale Sveum on Thursday, March 8, hinted that the team may require a backup for Kerry Wood instead of having him as the sole closer for the entire season. Wood had a comparatively good season last year to have a total of 51 innings.
However, a complication expectedly or unexpectedly, arose at the end in his left knee which had to be healed through arthroscopic surgery. That problem may come up again which logically demands an immediate resolution.
It is in this regard that the team manager Dale Sveum who had replaced Mike Quade, also thinks the same way. While he has the plan conceived, he is looking to figure out which player actually has the capacity to fill that role.
"When you're an eighth-inning guy and go through a lot of wins in a month, a guy like that, you've got to have a seventh-inning guy who's capable of getting those three outs up to the last three outs," Sveum said Thursday. "You don't know who can handle
For now, in Sveum’s eyes, it is Jeff Samardzija who can execute that role. However, he has a couple of big tasks in the days to come in the form of pitching as a starter to find out if he can be part of the rotation for the Chicago Cubs.
“Obviously, Kerry can, and [Jeff] Samardzija showed he could do it last year. You just make sure if you get them up, you get them in a game. If you get him up, you get him in the game. That's more important than the matchups."
Dale Sveum has full grasp of what critical importance the defence holds for the Chicago Cubs. Kerry Wood remained highly impressive with his performance the past year. However, fitness problems may pop up again; something the manager will want to deal with
As to who can be the backup for Kerry Wood, only time will tell. For now, however, among the variety of pitchers available, Samardzija seems a good option provided he is not asked to be part of rotation alone in the days to come.