The plan is for Wood to throw Monday, Wednesday and next Friday in Las Vegas if he has no setbacks. All the Cubs want is for the right-hander, who spent the winter rehabbing from a partial tear in his right rotator cuff, to repeat what he did against the Giants. Of the nine pitches he threw, eight were strikes.
Wood began camp with a minor setback when he bruised his chest falling out of a hot tub. A strained right triceps muscle was the latest reason he had been held out of games.
"We might not have enough time with Kerry [to pitch him on consecutive days] but with the rest of these guys, that's what we'll do," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said of the relievers.
Bob Howry was the first to pitch on back-to-back days. He threw 25 pitches in the Minor League camp Thursday, and one inning on Friday against the Giants. Scott Eyre pitched at the Minor League camp Friday and will likely get in Saturday's game. Wood simply doesn't have enough days to do so.
"Can I do it? Yes," Wood said about appearing in consecutive games. "What's the point of doing it now? We all sat down and talked about that before in the offseason."
How Wood responds the day after he throws is key to the next phase in his spring program.
"Let's see how he feels," Piniella said. "He's got a week, that's obvious. I was very pleased with the way he threw the ball today. Let's see how he feels [Saturday] and the next day and see how he feels Monday."
Wood did pitch in relief in 2005, making 11 appearances. That's nothing compared to his 178 starts. He's got a lot to learn.
"[Ryan] Dempster has been great and helping me out," Wood said. "You're worried about throwing, worried about getting ready, worried about how many outs there are, worried about who's up."
Dempster, the Cubs closer, tells Wood the count, how many outs, and gives his teammate a heads up while he's warming up. The time off didn't seem to matter on Friday.
"I didn't feel any [rust]," Wood said. "It's better than other outings I've had. I felt great."