Wood, Smith held back
This is probably the last thing you wanted to hear on the day games started, but closer Kerry Wood is dealing with a lower back issue.
Eric Wedge said Wood last threw a bullpen over the weekend and it will be a few more days before he starts throwing again. The Indians were planning on holding him out of action for a week or so of the Cactus League action anyway, and Wedge tried to make it clear that this is a minor issue.
“It’s normal for him in the spring,” Wedge said. “We don’t need to rush him. We want him ready for April 6, not March 6.”
I guess we’ll just see how this develops in the coming days.
RHP Joe Smith will also be held back for a few days, as he’s dealing with what they call a “non-baseball medical condition.” In other words, he’s sick.
“He’ll miss a few days, then he should be back out,” Wedge said.
UPDATE: Wood will throw a bullpen session on Friday.
UPDATE No. 2: Sounds like it’s going to be at least another four to six days before Smith rejoins the team, and he’ll then have to play catch-up before he’s ready to get into games. Whatever Smith’s got, trust me, you don’t want it. Sounds pretty nasty.
As for Wood, I’m told the plan was originally for him to appear in two Cactus games before March 10, and that still might happen. So this back issue, if it is, indeed, as minor as it appears, isn’t really much of a setback at all.