Our Not-So-Secret Weapon

July 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by White Chili

A lot of people have written Kerry Wood off as a one hit wonder not seen since the Macarena. He's pitched over 200 innings in the majors only twice (2002 & 2003) and has barely managed to accumulate that much playing time over the last 4 years combined due to frequent and oftentimes bizarre injuries.

Kerry is currently rehabbing in the minor leagues and has shown some good progress. Lately he's been given one inning to work which he gets through using about 10-12 pitches. His fastball has been clocked at between 93-94 and while he's given up a few hits, he hasn't allowed a run and has struck a few guys out along the way as well.

Even with all this progress there are plenty of people that think he'll never make it back to the majors. I, however, believe that I've found a use for Kerry. It seems like he's good for about 30-40 innings a year before some sort of injury sends him back to Mesa for second opinions. I say that we keep him in our back pocket until we need him at the end of the season for a final push into and through the playoffs. He can stay in Peoria and Iowa pitching and building up strength and stamina while the Cubs continue to chip away at our neighbors to the north. Then, just like hitting a nitrous button to punch a car past the opposition and make it into the drain pipe while they swerve away or smash into the wall, we bring him up towards the end of September and tell him to give us everything he has. If he hurts himself in the process then he'll have the entire offseason to heal (just like every year anyway).

Even Kerry knows that returning as a starter isn't a possibility at this point so he can focus on delivering one or two quality innings of gas at a time. That means if a starter could get to the sixth inning, they'd get to face Wood, Marmol, and Dempster with other guys ready to go in case of match-up problems. That's a tough pill to swallow.