Travis Wood, after another excellent outing Tuesday night, will make his next start on a national stage, ESPN's Sunday night game against the Cardinals. It's the Cubs' only scheduled appearance on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball this year (though two other Sundays, August 18 against the Cardinals and September 1 against the Phillies, are currently still TBD -- the August Cardinals game could wind up being chosen, the September Phillies contest, probably not).
This means that the All-Star Game comes up just two days after Wood's scheduled start. Originally, the Cubs announced that Wood would not be allowed to pitch in the game Tuesday, but now they've apparently changed their collective minds:
Manager Dale Sveum said Tuesday that the left-hander, who will be the Cubs' sole representative in the July 16 game at Citi Field, could pitch one inning or face one batter, depending on what National League manager Bruce Bochy needs. "It will all depend on how Sunday goes," Sveum said about how much Wood can pitch for the NL team. "Bochy can use him for a left-handed hitter. It's going to be a side day anyway. I've got no problem with him pitching one inning, or 2O pitches. He goes all out on his side days anyways."
I wouldn't have a problem with using Wood this way, either. It would be nice to have the Cubs' rep in the game actually play -- and given Wood's athleticism, Bochy could use him as a pinch-runner or pinch-hitter, too.
It hasn't yet been announced what the Cubs' rotation will be after the break. If they simply continue with the rotation as is, Jeff Samardzija would start Friday, July 19 against the Rockies in Denver. In that scenario, Wood wouldn't pitch until July 23 against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix. If Sveum wants to keep Wood on normal rest, using the ASG as the "side day", Wood could open the second-half schedule July 19.
What do you think?