CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Travis Wood might not be pitching in this year’s All-Star game after all. Unless the Cubs get rained out this week or change their pitching plans, Wood is scheduled to start Sunday night against the St. Louis Cardinals, forcing him to miss next Tuesday’s game in New York.
“The good thing is he’ll be pitching Sunday night,” manager Dale Sveum said before the Cubs played the White Sox on Monday. “A pretty good venue for a guy that obviously deserves as much as anyone to be in the game. And to pitch Sunday night against the Cardinals leading into the All-Star Game is about as promoting the All-Star Game as much as anything. That’s about as good as you can get other than playing in it.”
Wood will be opposed by Adam Wainwright, who is in the same predicament, but the Cardinals have more than one All-Star. Wood is the Cubs' lone representative. When the game became more competitive in recent years -- the winner secures home field advantage for its respective league in the World Series -– the rules changed, making any Sunday starter before the Tuesday game ineligible.
Technically, under CBA rules, Wood can elect to pitch one inning but the Cubs have decided to inform NL manager Bruce Bochy he should add another player. Wood will still participate in all activities surrounding the game but the National League will add a player to their roster who's available to pitch. Bochy could pick Jeff Samardzija or Kevin Gregg or he could pick anyone else from the league so the Cubs might not have a participant in the game.
Sveum was asked if he might alter his rotation to give first time All-Star Wood a chance to pitch in the game.
“I really didn’t have the ability to do that,” Sveum said. “You try not to adjust things for something like that.”