Kerry Wood likes Theo Epstein hire, wants to stay with Cubs

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Despite a regime change that included his friend Jim Hendry being let go as general manager Kerry Wood still wants to stay with the Cubs.

Wood, who passed up bigger offers to sign a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Chicago last offseason, said yesterday on Comcast SportsNet Chicago that he liked the move to hire Theo Epstein and “we plan on getting together and talking a little bit and we just go from there.”

Wood threw 51 innings with a 3.35 ERA and 57/21 K/BB ratio this season, so assuming he’s willing to re-sign for a similarly below-market rate there’s really no reason for Epstein and company not to welcome him back. Wood has made it very clear that he wants to retire a Cub and they can certainly use a cheap and still very effective setup man.

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.