Wood continues to recover from setback
Cubs like velocity, arm speed; game action likely next week
MESA, Ariz. -- Kerry Wood threw to hitters Tuesday, his second batting practice session this spring, and the Cubs right-hander is expected to get into Cactus League games next week as he continues to make progress.
"He's still not as sharp as he will be, but you wouldn't expect him to be," Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. "The arm speed is there, the velocity is there. It's just a matter of sharpening things up and getting out there enough and keeping him healthy."
Wood is one or two throwing sessions behind the other pitchers because he needed time to recover from a bruise he suffered in a fall out of his hot tub before pitchers and catchers reported.
"Stuff-wise, he's not behind," Rothschild said. "Mound time and getting his feet back on the ground, he's there. He didn't pitch a lot last year, and when he did, he wasn't right.
"With him, we'll take it day by day," Rothschild said of the right-hander, who spent the offseason rehabbing from a partial tear in his right rotator cuff. "We're not holding him back. It's just a matter of letting him do what he needs to do."
Wood not only threw fastballs, but a few profanities with some of his 27 pitches. He can be tougher on himself than anybody else.
"His mind knows where he wants to be, but I don't know if his body is there yet," Rothschild said of Wood. "He feels good, so he thinks it should be back to the way it should be. But it's been awhile. It's normal. You want to see a guy who's driving himself that way, as long as he doesn't drive himself to distraction."
As for the other pitchers, Mark Prior remains on track to start in the Cubs' fifth Cactus League game on March 5. Left-hander Sean Marshall, slowed because the Cubs want to build up arm strength, threw off the mound Monday, will take two days off, and then throw another batting practice session.
"He's progressed fine," Rothschild said of Marshall. "His arm reacted fine and he's had no setbacks."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.