"I told him what I want him to do is make sure he's ready when the season starts, because I'd like to see Woody pitching for us for a long, long time in our bullpen," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Saturday. "We haven't rushed him or anybody else, so there's no sense in really, really rushing this last week in camp just to make the Major League roster."
Piniella said Wood, who spent the winter rehabbing a partial tear in his right rotator cuff, did not have to pitch in consecutive games to prove he's ready for the regular season. Piniella has said he'd like the relievers to pitch in back-to-back games as well as go more than one inning this spring to prepare for the regular season.
"I'm not going to do anything to rush anybody or take any chances of getting anybody hurt," Piniella said. "There's no need for that.
"We've taken it easy all spring -- why rush the last six days to make the roster on Opening Day?" Piniella said. "You're talking about Woody, and he's been on the [disabled list] before. He doesn't like that, and I don't want that for him either. But if he's not quite ready, be honest with us. That's all."
Wood was the Cubs' Opening Day starter in 2003 and '04, and began the 2005 season in the rotation, but he was on the disabled list at the start of 2006 after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in August 2005.
On Friday, Wood threw nine pitches, eight for strikes, against the Giants in his first game since March 11. He'd been sidelined with a strained triceps muscle, but that apparently is fine. He's expected to pitch Monday, Wednesday and next Friday.
Wood, who is making the conversion from starter to reliever this year, doesn't want any setbacks, and neither does Piniella.
"I have to look at myself in the mirror as a manager," Piniella said. "I'm not going to push anybody so we take any risks of getting anybody hurt. I've always managed that way.
"I try to manage with the philosophy of what's good for the player is good for the organization," Piniella said. "That's the way I've tried to handle it for everybody in camp. We'll see where it brings us. We'll know by the middle of the week, the end of the week."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.