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Career Paths: Kerry Wood

Career Paths
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Chicago Cubs 1998-2008

Drafted 4th overall in 1995, Wood was a full-fledged phenom when he debuted with the Cubs in 1998.  His 6th career start would easily be the most famous outing of his career.  On May 6, the 20-year-old pitched a one-hit, 20-strikeout gem vs. the Houston Astros.  His 20 Ks tied the major league mark and set a rookie record.  He also joined Bob Feller as the only pitcher to have a single game strikeout total match his age. Although elbow problems cost Wood the final month of the 1998 season, he still won NL Rookie of the Year honors, finishing 13-6 with a 3.40 ERA and 233 strikeouts in 166 2/3 innings.


The elbow issues however, eventually led to Tommy John surgery and Wood’s 1999 was wiped out.  Wood returned in 2000 and would anchor the staff for much of the next four seasons, going 46-35 with a 3.67 ERA.  In 2003, the fireballer established career highs in wins (14), ERA (3.20) and strikeouts (an NL best 266). Wood earned All Star honors for his efforts and the Cubs won the NL Central.  Wood’s next 4 seasons were marred by injury.  The former ace appeared in just 69 games from 2004-07 and transitioned into the bullpen.  In 2008, he found new life a closer, saving 34 games for the Cubs, earning a second All Star nod and helping the team win a division title.  A free agent following the season, Wood inked two-year deal with Cleveland on December 13.



Cleveland Indians 2009-2010

Signed as their closer, Wood struggled with his new team, saving 20 games in 26 opportunities in 2009 with a 4.25 ERA.  It got worse in 2010 when the veteran blew 4 of his first 12 save chances with a bloated 6.30 ERA in 20 innings. He was traded to the Yankees on July 31 for two minor leaguers.










New York Yankees 2010

Wood was dominant in pinstripes, allowing just 2 runs and 14 hits in 26 innings with the Yankees.  The team reached the ALCS and Wood posted a 2.25 ERA in 7 postseason appearances. Despite his success, New York declined to exercise the option on his contract, making him a free agent. On November 17, Wood inked a deal with the Cubs to return to Chicago.







Chicago Cubs 2011-2012

Wood made 55 appearances out of the Cubs bullpen in 2011, compiling a 3.55 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 51 innings.  He returned to the team on one-year contract in 2012, but opted to retire on May 18, striking out his final batter and receiving a standing ovation at Wrigley Field. In 446 appearances (178 starts), Wood posted a 86-75 record with a 3.67 ERA, 1,582 strikeouts and 63 saves in 1,380 innings. 






Kerry Wood @ Wikipedia

Kerry Wood @

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