On the basis of throwing one scoreless inning against the Giants yesterday, Kerry Wood figures he’s ready to leave Arizona a member of the Cubs’ big league roster. Not so fast says his skipper, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan.

Does Wood plan on lobbying Piniella for a spot on the Opening Day roster?

“My job is to go out and get guys out,” Wood replied. “I have three more chances to go out and get guys out.”

But that would give Wood only seven innings of work, and the reason Piniella is considering keeping Wood back is he won’t have enough innings to be ready by the end of spring.

“Again, I’m just going to worry about getting guys out,” Wood repeated. “That’s why he’s the manager. He can make that decision.”

Wood declined to say whether he would be disappointed if he started the season rehabbing in extended spring training.

“I don’t think anybody wants to hear my opinion on it,” he snapped.

Piniella would like to see Wood pitch in back-to-back games at least once, and a two-inning stint as well. That’s not on his current schedule.

Wood maintained that his rehab plan did not have any back-to-back outings built into it.

“It’s something we talked about before spring training, that it’s not necessary for me to go back-to-back days in spring training,” he said. “Can I do it? Yeah. What’s the point right now? I have to stay on the field and continue to pitch and get better.”

Wood said he was being treated differently from the other relievers. None of them had pitched in back-to-back games until Bob Howry did on Friday, one day after throwing 25 pitches against minor-leaguers.

“So why is everybody worried about me?” Wood said.

When Piniella was told Wood was wondering why he was being singled out for not being ready when no one else had thrown in back-to-back games, he turned the tables on his veteran reliever.

“He shouldn’t be questioning anybody, truthfully,” Piniella said. “All I’m saying is when we [say we want] back-to-back and two-inning [stints], that’s the proper way to get the bullpen prepared for the start of a season.

“With Kerry that hasn’t been the plan, obviously, and the reason I say that is because he has had a couple of setbacks. Now, if he hadn’t had those setbacks, that would be the plan.”

As the Yankees try to cope with Chien-Ming Wang’s hamstring injury, Saturday’s award for Most Trenchant Analysis goes to one of Peter Abraham’s loyal readers, “Joe From Long Island”, who advises, “panicking is for losers.”

There’s no shortage of problems for the Washington Nationals to consider this spring, but here’s an ugly factoid: John Patterson (career record : 17-20) is considered the staff ace. Sort of.

Along with mentioning the Mets have signed Fernando Tatis to a minor league deal (you’re not gonna fill that ballpark in New Orleans without some big names), Newsday’s David Lennon spills the beans on Tool-Time in Port St. Lucie :

Funny scene in the clubhouse this morning. David Wright creating a shrine to bullpen coach Guy Conti above the empty locker between him and Jose Reyes. Actually, it was just a framed photo of Conti, but it was amusing to watch Wright try to hammer in the tack. First, he tried Reyes’ cell phone (not so good). Then, Wright grabbed a sneaker (the rubber sole was useless). Finally, Jose Valentin yelled over, “Why don’t you try a bat?” Stunningly, that worked and the photo was up moments later.