(WSCR) It's safe to say this hasn't been the start to the season Cubs fans were hoping to see from veteran reliever Kerry Wood.
Wood, who signed a one-year deal worth $3 million during the offseason, has struggled early, allowing three earned runs in one full inning over work over his first two appearances.
"He didn't throw a lot of innings in spring training," Len Kasper told The McNeil and Spiegel Show. "He had a little bit of a back issue. The Cubs have maintained that it was really by design that they didn't want to push him too much in the spring. Maybe he's still finding his sea legs, but he needs to find it soon or the Cubs are going to have to rely on a guy like Rafael Dolis in that eighth inning. ... He's the one guy on your roster that has past experience and success. I don't think he's going to be as bad as he's been.
LISTEN: Len Kasper on The Mully and Hanley Show
Kasper said the Cubs need Wood to be a leader among their young pitching staff.
"If he came in and locked down the eighth inning on Thursday and Saturday, I don't think the conversation would be quite the same, and the Cubs would probably be 3-0. It's a short-term deal for one year. I think because of the trades of Sean Marshall and Andrew Cashner and Jeff Samardjzia going into the rotation. I think the Cubs felt like they needed someone who has had past experience and past success in that role."
for more features.