Kerry Wood isn't going anywhere.
Cubs officials told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday that although manager Dusty Baker left open the possibility of Wood returning to the starting rotation as early as Monday, the team plans to keep Wood in the bullpen, following doctors' advice to limit Wood to one or two innings a game for the rest of the season.
Wednesday, after Wood threw pitches clocked at 98 mph and 100 mph, Baker had said he wouldn't eliminate the possibility of Wood replacing struggling rookie Rich Hill in the rotation Monday at Houston.
"He's throwing the ball great out of that bullpen," Baker told the Sun-Times. "We just can't get to him when it means something. I have to talk to Jim [general manager Hendry]. As long as [Wood] can minimize his pitches, he feels great. We've got to figure this thing out. We're not out of this thing yet."
But Cubs officials are unwilling to risk further damage to Wood's rotator cuff and labrum when the team is a long shot to make the playoffs. The Sun-Times reports that Wood will likely have surgery either this month or in September, and the team believes that he will have a better chance of starting spring training on time the sooner he has surgery.
Wood told the Sun-Times he hadn't been approached with the idea.
"We haven't even begun to discuss anything close to that," he said. "First I've heard of it. I'm not even thinking about anything like that. We are losing a lot of games in a row."