Travis Wood continued his excellent start to the season on Monday, picking up the win for the Chicago Cubs by pitching seven innings, only allowing two hits and not giving up a run in a 9-1 victory against the Colorado Rockies.
Wood has been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs so far this season. He has now had eight quality starts in a row to begin his year, with four of those being dominant outings. His record is now 4-2 with an ERA of 2.03.
The Cubs traded for Wood, along with Dave Sappelt, from the Cincinnati Reds for Sean Marshall before the beginning of last season. This was the first move made by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer with the Cubs. While the trade had mixed reviews when it was originally made, I think it is fair to say that the Cubs have come out on top in that deal.
This incredible start from Wood has not been completely unexpected. Last season, he struggled in Spring Training and was then sent to the minors to start the season. Eventually, he made his way back to the majors and was a very solid starter for the Cubs, starting 26 games with a 4.27 ERA in 2012.
While that is not amazing, it is certainly serviceable from a team’s fourth or fifth starter.
The more that I see Wood pitch, the more I think he is going to be a future piece of the Cubs’ rotation. We all know that there is not much in the minor leagues as far as starting pitching goes, so when this team is ready to compete, there are going to have to be some solid pitchers in the rotation and I think Wood can be one of those.
If he keeps up this pace, I think there is a chance that the Cubs lock him up long-term, similarly to what they did with Anthony Rizzo on Sunday.