Chicago Cubs: Who has something to prove this spring?

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Travis Wood is the first player that comes to mind.  The 2013 season saw Wood become an all-star and what we thought would be a top of the rotation starter in 2014.  The Cubs’ left-handed All-Star pitcher was a tough-luck loser in 2013. Wood’s win-loss record was 9-12 – but had some impressive numbers to show how well he actually played.

He posted a 3.11 ERA- 24 of his 32 games started were quality starts – and six of those 24 starts Wood would be a loser in.  Also the lefty would hold batters to a .222 average.  Figuring that success and the fact that the Cubs would be expected to have a better offense in 2014 – Wood was expected to have his numbers tell the right story.  That didn’t happen though.

In 2014, the former All-Star would take a huge step backwards.  While the record didn’t show it, his ERA would skyrocket to a 5.03.  In his 31 starts, only 13 would qualify as quality starts, and only one of those quality starts Wood would be the loser of.  Hitters would also improve their average against Wood, raising the opposing hitters average to a .277 against.

Now the once All-Star is going to have to fight for a spot in the rotation.  The odds could be on Wood’s side.  Because he’s done it before it’s known he can do it again.  A new manager has come in, a new and potent offense will be hopefully supporting him more often.  He has competition, but some of that competition has something to prove also. A little competition might just be what is needed for the former All-Star to come back to that form.

Next: A reunion