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.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.
A report from Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reveals that prospective Marlins’ owners Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman have already initiated several key firings within the organization. While the sale of the team is still pending final approval next month, Jeter reportedly pushed club president David Samson to remove four special assistants this week: Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon and Jeff Conine.
Hall of Fame infielder Dawson, outfielder Perez and Marlins’ legend Conine served as special assistants to the president. McKeon, who served as team manager from 2003-2005 (and briefly in 2011), was terminated from a 12-year post as special assistant to owner Jeffrey Loria.
The move didn’t come as a big surprise to Dawson and McKeon, Jackson and Spencer noted. It’s part and parcel of dealing with new ownership. But it was disappointing news nonetheless, especially as the long-tenured McKeon might lose an opportunity to return next September to manage one game and cement his status as the oldest manager in MLB history.
Should the Marlins’ sale go through in October as expected, this figures to be the beginning of several cuts. Per Jackson and Spencer:
Jeter also is expected to fire some people on the baseball side of the operation, though it’s believed president/baseball operations Michael Hill will be retained, at least indefinitely if not permanently.
Any replacements for those already released from the team have yet to be announced.