PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood barely broke a sweat Friday night during his final one-inning minor league rehab outing, striking out one and retiring all three batters he faced.
Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry was in Peoria to watch Wood pitch for the Class-A Chiefs. He will meet with Wood on Saturday to see how the right-hander feels. The Cubs are expected to move Wood up to Triple-A Iowa immediately if he feels no ill effects from this week's outings.
``Kerry looked terrific tonight, as clean as you'd want to see after back-to-back outings,'' Hendry said at news conference following Wood's appearance. ``His fastball was right at 92 to 93 mph. He had good command and he threw some really good breaking balls.
``I'm especially happy about his command, which is more indicative of good health than velocity.''
Wood started the game instead of pitching from the bullpen as originally planned due to heavy rainfall in the area. The Cubs, who are converting Wood to a reliever, needed to see how he would do pitching on consecutive days and didn't want to chance a weather delay or postponement.
It took only 13 pitches for Wood to get three outs Friday - a strikeout, a weakly hit grounder to short and a fly ball out to shallow left field. Ahead in the count consistently, Wood was able to throw more breaking balls to offset his 93-mph fastball.
``I feel good, just like I expected,'' Wood said afterward. ``It looks like I'll head to Iowa in a couple of days to pitch a couple of innings there and then, I hope, it's back to Chicago.''
Wood said he doesn't mind being used as a reliever by Cubs Manager Lou Piniella, as long as it means getting to pitch again in the big leagues.
``I'll pitch whenever Lou tells me to,'' Wood said. ``I just want to get back to the big leagues. I want my young son to see what I did for a living. And since it's so exiting up there right now, I can't wait to get back into that kind of playoff atmosphere again.''
It's the third season in a row that Wood has pitched for the Chiefs while rehabbing an injury. The 1998 NL Rookie of the Year has been on the disabled list all season because of tendinitis in his shoulder.
Also Friday, Hendry said he would like to make at least one trade before Tuesday's MLB trade deadline.
``Nothing we could do would equal getting Kerry back in Chicago,'' Hendry said. ``But we'd like to make one move if we could before the deadline. Losing Daryle Ward really hurt us, so we really could use a big-time clutch hitter for late in the game.''
Ward, a backup first baseman who also can play corner outfield, was recently put on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right calf.

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