Cubs setup man Kerry Wood has been eligible to return from the disabled list for over 48 hours, and yet there is still no end in sight in his ongoing recovery from a slow-healing blister on his right index finger.
According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, Wood has been able to throw with and without padding over the blister, but he’s still not completely free of discomfort. And the Cubs want the blister to heal fully before bringing him back and trusting him in tight late-game situations.
Here’s Cubs manager Mike Quade, speaking to reporters after Saturday’s loss to the Royals:
“I’m trying to understand the blister thing,” Quade said. “It’s somewhat healed, but now you need layers of skin, a thickness, or even a callus if you can get it. He and (trainer Mark O’Neal) ought to have as good a fix on it as anybody because they’ve been through it before. I just wait until they tell me it’s good. I know he’d love to be ready at home (next week) and I hope he is, but I’m not sure of that yet.”
Wood, 34, has a posted a quality 2.25 ERA and 21/10 K/BB ratio in 24 innings of relief this season.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.