Once upon a time, Kerry Wood was supposed to be the Chicago Cubs' savior. He was the team's first-round pick in 1995, and he set a NL record by striking out 20 Astros in his fifth major league start on May 6, 1998. He was named 1998 NL Rookie of the Year, helping lead the team to the wild card.
His career since then has been filled with injuries, a reinvention as a closer (34 saves for the 2008 Cubs, who won the NL Central), and a sojourn to the Indians and Yankees before returning to the Cubs as a setup man in 2011. He had a decent year last year, posting a 3.55 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP, and he had 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Today, he's taking a familiar trip:
It's Wood's 16th trip to the disabled list, the most of any active player, this time with shoulder fatigue. Once, Cubs fans hoped Wood would lead him to the World Series. Now, they hope he'll stay healthy enough to have a final curtain call in their bullpen in what's likely to be a lost season. Wood turns 35 in June and this very well could be his last season.