Before blowing out his elbow Kerry Wood threw a ton of pitches as a 21-year-old rookie

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People have been writing about Kerry Wood’s rookie pitch counts for more than a decade now, so I’m not exactly breaking new ground here, but now that he’s retiring it’s worth noting again just how hard the Cubs and then-manager Jim Riggleman worked their 21-year-old phenom in 1998.

Wood made a total of 26 starts as a rookie and topped 100 pitches in 21 of them, including the following pitch counts: 133, 129, 128, 123, 123, 122, 122, 121, 118, 118, 117, 116, 115.

Seriously.

I can’t even imagine a 21-year-old stud prospect being allowed to come anywhere near that workload now and yet Wood did it just 14 seasons ago. He then blew out his elbow, missed the entire next season, and didn’t start a game after age 29.

Wood had a helluva career, but I’d love to go back in time and tell Riggleman to loosen the reins a bit just to see what could have been.

Yankees activate Aroldis Chapman

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Yesterday the New York Yankees got Aaron Judge back. Today they activated closer Aroldis Chapman.

Chapman has been on the disabled list since August 22 with left knee tendinitis. Before going down the 30-year-old fireballer registered a 2.11 ERA and 31 saves with an 84/27 K/BB ratio in 47 innings of work.

In his absence David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Zach Britton have all been bumped an inning back to decidedly mixed results. Now Chapman is back in the mix.