Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cubs Closer Mystery Deepens

I have been one of the few proponents of Bob Howry and said all along that he would be named the Cubs closer by the end of spring training. Recently, however, my opinion had began to waiver as Kerry Wood began to get save opportunities in spring games and seemed only a couple of back to back showings away from officially being named the closer.

That was until Wednesday, when Kerry Wood was scratched from his first back to back days of work because of back spasms. Back spasms as we have said here before can be a tricky injury. They can last days or weeks. With a guy like Kerry Wood, given his injury history, the back spasms become that much more of issue. Who would be shocked if he tried to pitch through this and in another week wound up hurting his elbow or shoulder and wound up on the DL.. again.

Manager Lou Piniella said that this put a wrinkle into his time frame to name a closer and is now expected to reach a decision around Sunday or Monday at the earliest.

FANTASY IMPACT

Although he has struggled this spring training, we are still going to go with our dark horse pick of Bob Howry to win the closer's gig. With the full extent of Wood's injury not yet known we are going to assume that the Cubs will be cautious with Wood and bring him back slowly to ensure they don't lose him for a greater amount of time. Carlos Marmol is still young and manager, Lou Piniella might decide he will need more experience setting up before being named to anchor of the bullpen.

Obviously, keep checking Fantasy Sports Experience for constant updates and fantasy analysis once Piniella finally ends up naming his closer.

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