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Silence Of The Cubs

By bullpenbrian - August 18, 2012 - 9:00 am Leave a comment.

Silence Cubs

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Travis Wood Not Afraid of Cy Young

By bullpenbrian - June 26, 2012 - 2:30 am Leave a comment.

Travis Wood’s faced three-straight former Cy Young Award winners.

For good measure, you can make it four former Cy Youngs he’s faced in his last five trips to the mound: Barry Zito (’02), Justin Verlander (’11), Jake Peavy (’07) & Johan Santana (’04-’06).

I mean, talk about your run of tough luck!

Yet Wood’s pitched exceptionally well posting a quality start in all four outings, including two wins with hardly any run support.

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Travis Wood A Quality Starter

By bullpenbrian - June 20, 2012 - 3:00 am 2 comments.

Hat tip to Travis Wood (1-3) for hanging with Jake Peavy Tuesday night.

It wasn’t the 25-year-old’s best outing of the season, but good enough to earn his first win, not to mention, back-to-back big victories against the South Siders.

Wood’s settled in nicely since his initial call-up from Triple-A Iowa on May 5 to spot-start in place of Matt Garza, and then recalled two weeks later to eventually replace a woeful Chris Volstad (0-6, 7.46 ERA).

In Wood’s seven starts with Chicago four have been quality efforts, including Tuesday evening. He’s allowed three or fewer runs six times and has pitched no fewer than five innings.

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Volstad, Travis Wood & Tony La Russa

By bullpenbrian - May 13, 2012 - 3:00 am 2 comments.

It’s time the Cubs removed Chris Volstad from the starting rotation and replaced him with Travis Wood.

Wood’s lone outing this season, a quality six inning start of 3-runs on 3-hits during last Sunday’s 4-3 win against Los Angeles, is better than anything Volstad has accomplished this season.

Meanwhile, Volstad’s inability to pitch out of trouble and avoid the big inning was in full effect Saturday afternoon as he allowed six earned runs in six innings, five of which scored in the sixth inning.

More to the point, it was exactly the kind of poor performance the Cubs didn’t need in the aftermath of Friday’s brutal 8-7 loss in 13-innings. But Volstad, as has been the case all season, failed to deliver.

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Cubs Volstad (0-9) Last 17 Starts

By bullpenbrian - May 5, 2012 - 5:15 pm 2 comments.

Chris Volstad (0-4) continues to be consistently ineffective.

He was again haunted by the big inning on Saturday thanks to a two-run double by the opposing pitcher. I mean, that just can’t happen.

It’s been 17 consecutive starts since Volstad last won a big league outing. He’s taken a loss nine times with eight no decisions.

Travis Wood is replacing Garza on Sunday. If Wood pitches well, the Cubs might give some thought to replacing Volstad in the rotation.

It’s only been six starts, but Volstad hasn’t shown improvement. His ERA is above 6-runs and he’s yet to pitch past the sixth inning.

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Sean Marshall Trade Not About Travis Wood

By bullpenbrian - March 20, 2012 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

Cubs fans are coming down hard on Travis Wood. He’s had a terrible spring training. He’s pitched himself out of the competition for the starting rotation, and perhaps, off the big league roster.

Instead of locking down a rotation spot, as many anticipated he would, it’s more likely he’ll begin the season at Triple-A, where he’s spent the better part of three seasons with the Reds organization.

That’s well below expectations for most Cubs fans who value Wood solely on the Sean Marshall trade, which is a bad idea because that’s not what the trade was all about.

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Marshall, Jocketty & Wood

By bullpenbrian - December 22, 2011 - 2:01 am 1 comment.

I think most Cubs fans are bristling with the news Sean Marshall is headed to the Reds for the young left-hander Travis Wood and future prospects.

Trading away your most reliable bullpen arm, to a division rival no less, seems unthinkable. But that’s the tough part in analyzing an offseason trade such as this one.

Marshall, unquestionably, makes the Reds a favorite to win the division next season. Wood, on the other hand, is far less likely to make that kind of immediate impact for Chicago.

Human nature tends to want a clear-cut winner of the trade from the get-go. But this swap of left-handers won’t be fairly decided any time soon.

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Forgetting Sean Marshall

By bullpenbrian - December 21, 2011 - 2:01 am Leave a comment.

Perhaps, we’re about to see Theo Epstein begin rebuilding the Cubs the way I thought he would at the Winter Meetings.

That process being through trades of some of the Cubs most valuable players in return for young, inexpensive and major league ready prospects.

At least, that would better explain the rumored reports the Cubs are shopping Sean Marshall for Travis Wood.

If, in fact, the reports are true, it tells us two things.

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