Former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood became new Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood Thursday when he signed a free agent contract with the team that let him walk away after the 2008 season.
Once a feared starter, Wood's troublesome right arm has kept him in the bullpen in recent years.
He pitched 46 innings last season starting with a mediocre 20 for the Indians in which he allowed 21 hits and a 6.30 ERA. But after being traded to the Yankees he allowed only 14 hits in 26 innings with a 0.69 ERA.
There was talk that Wood, 33, might stick around in New York but he headed back to Chicago while the Yankees signed his former Cubs rotation mate Mark Prior.
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In case you were wondering, Wood can still bring the heat with 49 strikeouts in his 46 frames. He just pitches an inning or so at a time instead of pitching seven or eight at a time, making life a lot easier on the rest of the National League Central.
Wood is 7-6 with a 3.05 ERA in his career against the Cardinals. He struck out 129 in 118 innings and allowed only 81 hits.