Wood to skip next scheduled start

ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker said injured pitcher Kerry Wood, who will skip his next scheduled start on Monday because of a shoulder injury, might have to go back on the 15-day disabled list.

"Yeah, it's a possibility," Baker said Sunday night before the Cubs played the Cardinals. "They said he was better today than yesterday but still not quite ready."

Wood, 3-3 with a 4.67 ERA in 10 starts, had a cortisone shot on Thursday after lasting only three innings and giving up three homers in a 9-3 loss at Cincinnati on Wednesday. The shoulder has bothered Wood all season, already forcing him to the disabled list once.

Wood might also have to undergo arthroscopic surgery in the offseason to clean up minor fraying in the labrum of the shoulder, the Cubs acknowledged to the Chicago Tribune.

"We're going to evaluate [the shoulder] at the end of the year, see how this situation plays out," trainer Mark O'Neal told the paper, calling surgery "absolutely an option. "But there's no question we're just going to shut [him] down at the end of the year and cross our fingers and hope we're perfectly fine next year."

Baker told the paper the Cubs would "possibly" consider putting Wood in the bullpen next season.

"It all depends on the rest of the year, No. 1. And No. 2, he may need a minor clean-out of something," Baker said. "It depends on how he responds. Right now [everything is] kind of up in the air."

Left-hander Rich Hill, who began the season at the Double-A level, will take Wood's place Monday at home against the Giants. Hill, 24, pitched in relief for the Cubs earlier in the year, including a 4 1/3-inning hitless outing against Milwaukee on June 22.

"He didn't show that much his first couple of outings, and then that game in long relief against Milwaukee he was very good," Baker said. "That's the guy we had heard about. He's come a long way in a short period of time."

Baker had also considered Glendon Rusch for the start before deciding to leave him in relief.

"With Rusch in the 'pen, his endurance is down," Baker said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.