Rugged spring lands Wood in Iowa; Wells probably headed back to Boise

CHICAGO — Left-hander Travis Wood of Bryant will start the 2012 professional baseball season pitching for[more] the Iowa Cubs, the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

Wood, who was picked up by the Cubs in a trade from the Cincinnati Reds over the winter, was assigned to Iowa on Thursday, March 29, after struggling this spring. He pitched just 8 1/3 innings during the Cubs’ training camp in Surprise, Ariz., going 1-2 with a 17.28 earned run average. He allowed 18 hits and 17 runs, 16 of them earned in three starts and one relief appearance.

In two seasons with the Reds, Wood was 11-10 with a 4.18 ERA in 208 2/3 innings in which he allowed 203 hits and struck out 162.

He made his Major League debut in 2010 at Chicago’s Wrigley Stadium, pitching well while getting a no decision in a 3-2 Reds win.

The lefty will not be the lone Major League veteran on the Iowa pitching staff. Chicago also optioned Randey Wells, who has made 82 starts for the Cubs since 2009; Scott Maine, who has appeared in 20 games for the Cubs over the last two seasons; and Manny Corpas, who saved 19 games for the Colorado Rockies in 2007 and 10 in 2010.

The Iowa Cubs’ roster, incidentally, also includes right-hander Blake Parker of Fayetteville, who played for the University of Arkansas before being drafted in 2006. Parker is two years older than Wood.

Iowa begins its season on Thursday, April 5, against Round Rock (Texas) in the Pacific Coast League.
Another Bryant product,

Ben Wells, is in the Cubs’ Minor League system. After pitching with the Boise Hawks short-season Class A team last year, Wells had hoped to move up to the Class A Peoria Chiefs but word is he’ll start out again at Boise. The Hawks’ season opens June 15.

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