CLEVELAND -- Indians closer Kerry Wood was asked Friday afternoon if he's happy to be activated off the disabled list. "I don't know yet," Wood said with a smile. "We'll find out tonight." That's life as a reliever -- and as a closer, in particular -- as one never knows what's going to happen from night to night.
But Wood, who took the roster spot of optioned reliever Jensen Lewis, could say for certain that his back is no longer bothering him and he's ready to contribute in the ninth inning for the Tribe. Wood, who suffered a strained lat muscle in early March and made just two appearances in spring camp, made two rehab appearances at Double-A Akron. The first was forgettable, but the second saw him toss a scoreless inning in which he walked one and struck out two. "We had some good reports on him down there," manager Manny Acta said. "He had very good command of his pitches. He was able to locate his fastball. He's good to go." Chris Perez went 4-for-6 in save situations in Wood's absence, including a blown save in Wednesday's loss to the Blue Jays when he gave up a two-run homer to Adam Lind with two outs in the ninth. "That comes with the territory," Wood said. "Chris did a really good job [overall]." Wood, now in the final guaranteed year of a two-year, $20.5 million contract, went 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA and 20 saves in 26 opportunities last season. He could become trade bait by midseason if there is a contender in need of back-end bullpen help.