I've always been a fan of Wood and glad the Cubs brought him back. I was wondering, though, how many years did Ryan Dempster pitch in relief before going back to being a starting pitcher, and is there any chance we could see Wood attempt to return as a starter?
-- Pete W., Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
Dempster was primarily used in relief from 2004-07. He was coming off Tommy John surgery in August 2003, and eased back into action in '04 out of the bullpen. But he began the '05 season in the rotation and was switched to closer after six starts because the Cubs needed help. Dempster became a full-time starter in '08.
Wood's situation is different. He not only had elbow surgery, but also had issues with his right shoulder. He was switched to the bullpen because he had trouble going deep into games, and right now, he's best suited for relief. In case you're wondering, Wood has started 178 games in his career and has a 71-55 record, a 3.69 ERA and 1,282 strikeouts in 1,116 2/3 innings; in 203 games as a reliever, he has a 3.45 ERA, 62 saves and 237 strikeouts in 203 2/3 innings.
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