UPDATE: Wood told the Associated Press that he expects to return to action sooner than the six-to-eight week timetable given to him by team trainers.
SATURDAY, 3:13pm: Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Kerry Wood has been diagnosed with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle and has been given a six-to-eight week recovery timetable.
The strain was revealed underneath Wood’s right shoulder when he had an MRI on Thursday.
Chris Perez, who was picked up last year from the Cardinals in a deal for Mark DeRosa, will serve as the Indians’ closer for at least the month of April. If he pitches well enough, perhaps he’ll even be allowed to retain the role. The 24-year-old Perez had a 1.19 WHIP and a 68/27 K/BB ratio in 57 innings last season between Cleveland and St. Louis. Wood, meanwhile, posted a 4.25 ERA and a 63/28 K/BB ratio in 55 frames for the Tribe.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)