A member of the organization since being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 1995 draft, 2008 will mark Wood’s 14th season in the Cubs organization. The righthander has posted a 72-57 record with a 3.67 ERA in 211 appearances (178 starts) in all or part of nine major league seasons with the Cubs. Wood ranks fourth on the club’s all-time strikeout list with 1,323 while his .215 batting average against is the lowest of any Cub pitcher in franchise history (minimum 1,000 innings pitched).
The 30-year-old Wood pitched exclusively in relief in 2007 for the first time in his career, going 1-1 with a 3.33 ERA in 22 appearances after making his season debut August 5 vs. the Mets. That outing was his first since June 6, 2006, as he missed nearly 14 months due to right shoulder ailments.
Overall in 2007, Wood tossed 18 scoreless appearances and allowed one run or less in 21 of 22 appearances, as six of his nine runs allowed came in two outings. He limited opponents to a .207 batting average and struck out 24 batters in 24.1 innings. He finished the campaign with eight consecutive scoreless appearances covering 9.2 innings, striking out 13 and walking only three in that span.
Wood was named the 1998 National League Rookie of the Year after posting a 13-6 record with a 3.40 ERA in 26 starts, making history when he became the youngest pitcher in major league history to strike out 20 batters in a game at the age of 20 on May 6, 1998 vs. Houston. Wood was also a member of the 2003 N.L. All-Star team when he went 14-11 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts in helping to lead the Cubs to the National League Championship Series.