Wood makes first All-Star team

CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Travis Wood was announced as a National League All-Star for the first time in his career Saturday.

“I feel amazing,” Wood said Saturday after the announcement. “It’s a goal you set as a player, to try and play like an All-Star and be an All-Star and to be selected. It’s outstanding.”

Wood, 26, is 5-6 with a 2.69 ERA in 17 starts this season. He joined the Cubs in December 2011 in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher Sean Marshall. He was told he made the team by his manager, Dale Sveum, before the Cubs played the Pirates on Saturday.

“He came down and handed me the piece of paper and shook my hand and gave me a hug and said congratulations,” Wood said.

Sveum was happy to deliver the news.

“He led both leagues in quality starts, swung the bat great; [he] was just outstanding every day,” Sveum said. “It was special for him because of where he came from and how things started out a year ago.”

After posting a 4.27 ERA in his first year with the Cubs, Wood has been their most consistent starter this season, ranking ninth in ERA among regular starters in the National League. He is one of just five starters with a WHIP below 1.00 (0.98).

“It [his turn around] definitely happened quickly,” Wood said. “I got sent down after spring last year and battled back. Really, every day you’re learning something.”

Shortstop Starlin Castro did not make the team after two consecutive appearances, while reliever Kevin Gregg (1.53 ERA, 15 saves) also missed out.

“You want it, but it’s not disappointing not to,” Gregg said. “There’s a lot of deserving guys that get to make the team, and there’s guys that should have been All-Stars that didn’t make the team in the past, so it’s no big deal.”

The All-Star Game is July 16 at Citi Field in New York.