The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

And What's Plan C?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 15, 2005 8:08PM

Cubs fans are understandably nervous following the unsettling news from Mesa. Arm troubles have lead the club to shut down both Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

The troubles began last Wednesday, when Wood felt tightness in his shoulder. The team and Kerry both said it was nothing, yet he was back in Chicago on Thursday having it checked out. Fans and media alike were skeptical of the official word... afterall, similar comments followed last year's injury and he missed two months.

While the media was still reeling over whether Cubs brass was being upfront about Wood's shoulder and wondering how Wood's first attempts at throwing yesterday would go, word broke that Prior was being shut down for arm pain. The diagnosis for Prior was "irritation to the ulnar nerve and inflammation in his right elbow joint" according to Cubs trainer Mark O'Neal. Team officials say he may thrown again as early as Wednesday. Again, everybody went into panic mode. Prior said it's not a recurrance of last year's injury but the media and fans are all fearing the worst.

With everybody taking the official word with heaping spoonfuls of salt, the speculation has quickly moved to what the Cubs will do with their rotation should either or both hurlers not be ready when the season begins.

Fortunately for the Cubs, Joe Borowski seems to be close enough to his 2003 form that Dusty Baker has all but handed him the closer role. That allows for Ryan Dempster -- once thought to be among the closer candidates -- to focus on a possible spot in the rotation, should he be needed. Of couse, opening day is still three weeks away and a lot can happen between now and then.

Pictures via