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Where Do the Cubs Go From Here?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 5, 2005 7:22PM

2005_sports_cubs_logo.gifToday is a day of significant changes for the Cubs, and it'll be interesting to see which direction the team goes in coming weeks as a result.

Nomar Garciaparra finally returns from the groin injury that put him onto the DL in April. Dusty Baker plans to start Nomar today against New York, as well as Sunday while resting him on Saturday.

In addition to getting back Nomar, the Cubs will also welcome Kerry Wood back to the roster. He'll be pitching out of the bullpen rather than starting for the rest of the season. Could Wood be the latest Cubs closer? Dusty's wouldn't say anything definitive in regards to that question, although it sounds like he wants to see how Wood pitches in relief before making a final call. The Cubs also have Scott Williamson coming off the DL and joining the bullpen, so might things finally get better for Cubs pitching in the late innings? And might this free Baker to move Rusch back into the rotation where he really belongs?

While three guys come off the DL today, Jerry Hairston landed himself on the list with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. Because it's not his throwing arm, he's hoping he can finish out the season after some rest. While Cubs GM Jim Hendry said on ESPN Radio 1000 this morning that Corey Patterson would not be called up today, it's still possible that he may return from Triple-A Iowa soon to fill Hairston's roster spot.

With all these changes, anyone's guess as to what happens. Right now, they're barely hanging onto hopes for the wild card. Will these changes shake things up and cause them to put togehter a bit of hot streak, moving them up in the standings? Chicagoist doesn't see it happening, but the next couple weeks should be interesting...