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Cubs trying to save Wood for regular season

By Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune –

MESA, Ariz. — Kerry Wood threw off flat ground again Monday after a week of inactivity and is scheduled to appear in a Cactus League game Saturday.

The Cubs are trying to save him for the regular season, knowing Wood’s history of injuries.

“It’s a long, long spring for guys (who) have had some issues with stuff,” manager Dale Sveum said. “And you just try to monitor everything to where you’re making sure they’re ready for opening day and they can sustain a whole season.”

Wood said his back hasn’t been a problem since spasms struck early in camp and that his inactivity was part of the plan.

“Really just slowed it down,” he said. “We got off to such a fast start and are really trying to time it so we’re ready to roll when (the season) starts.”

Roster moves: The Cubs signed right-handed reliever Shawn Camp, whom the Mariners released last week, and released veteran left-hander Trever Miller.

Camp, 36, who played for Sveum in the minor leagues, is expected to win a spot in a thin bullpen. He’s 25-26 with a 4.40 ERA in eight seasons with the Royals, Rays and Blue Jays, including a 6-3 record and 4.21 ERA last year in Toronto.

“He’s got one of those rubber arms that can throw all the time, and he makes the ball go sideways to both sides of the plate,” Sveum said, “He’s pitched well in the AL East, on turf. When you pitch well and you’re a sinkerballer and doing it on turf, facing the Red Sox and Yankees lineup all the time … there’s some value there.”

Miller had a 5.40 ERA in eight appearances.

Maholm watch: Paul Maholm doesn’t see much of a difference between pitching for the Pirates or the Cubs.

“You’ve got to go out and perform,” Maholm said. “As long as you’re doing well, they’re going to love you. … If not, somebody else will take over.”

Maholm pitched five shutout innings Monday against the Padres in his third Cactus League appearance. He also hit a double and got grief from his teammates for not stretching it into a triple.

Carlos Marmol also pitched a scoreless inning in his first game since leaving with hand cramps last week.

“I felt normal,” Marmol said.

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