Chicago Cubs: Reflecting on Travis Wood’s legacy as a Cub
By Janey Murray
Former Cubs pitcher Travis Wood was diagnosed with a torn ACL, which means he could be out for the season and potentially longer. Cubs fans will always remember Wood for the consistency he brought to Chicago for five years.
Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Travis Wood, who signed a deal with the Detroit Tigers this January after being released from the San Diego Padres in December, was diagnosed with a torn ACL and medial meniscus last week.
The Tigers have not announced how much time Wood will miss. But ACL tears routinely sideline players for the entire season. And at 31 years old, there is always the possibility that this could mean the end of Wood’s career.
Wood struggled over the past year after signing with the Kansas City Royals in free agency in February of 2017. He posted some of the worst numbers of his career with a 6.91 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP in Kansas City. He was traded to San Diego in July and maintained similar numbers with a 6.71 ERA and 1.66 WHIP with the Padres, which likely led to his December release.
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Won’t forget his contributions
Despite Wood’s recent struggles, with the injury news coming out last week, many Cubs fans could not help but reminisce upon the success that Wood provided during his five years on the North Side of Chicago.
Wood came to the Cubs from the Cincinnati Reds along with Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes in December of 2011. In his first three years with the Cubs, Wood was a consistent member of the Cubs starting rotation, pitching a career-high 200 innings in 2013.
2013 was the best season of his career as a starter, as he posted a 3.11 ERA in 32 starts and made his only All-Star Game.
To the bullpen, we go!
In 2015, Wood transitioned into a new role, primarily as a reliever. He made nine starts over the course of the 2015 season and pitched in 54 games total. He found success in this new role after struggling in 2014. His ERA went down from 5.03 in 2014 to 3.84 in 2015. And in three appearances in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, he gave up just two hits and one run with a 2.45 ERA.
During the Cubs World Series championship season in 2016, Wood pitched in 77 games. All were in relief, and he was one of the most reliable members of the Cubs bullpen posting a 2.95 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He pitched in nine games during the 2016 postseason. Including three in the World Series, during which he gave up two hits and one earned run in 1 2/3 innings.
Of course, no Cubs fan could forget the solo home run Wood hit in Game 2 of the 2016 NLDS against the Giants, which the Cubs won 5-2. Wood got the win in that game when he came in for starter Kyle Hendricks in the fourth inning after Hendricks was hit in the forearm with a line drive.
Put me in coach!
Another memorable moment from Wood’s career in Chicago happened in July of 2016. Against the Seattle Mariners in July, while playing left field, Wood made an incredible catch against the ivy at Wrigley Field. The play would probably have been difficult for even a regular outfielder to make.
Wood is also well-known for his wardrobe choices. He chose to go shirtless for the Cubs World Series parade and rally in 2016. He also danced shirtless at Hendricks’ wedding this past winter.
Wood finished his career with the Cubs in 2016 with a 3.94 ERA over five seasons. It is safe to say that his years with the Cubs were the best of his career.
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Based on his current trajectory, it seems that the prime of Wood’s career may have passed. But no matter what happens in his career as a result of his recent injury, Cubs fans will remember him fondly for the positive impact he had on the Cubs during his five seasons on the North Side.