Wood, 29, was limited to four starts last season as he tried to come back from arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. He was shut down after being diagnosed with a partial tear in his right rotator cuff. Will finally appearing in a game stop all the questions about Wood's shoulder?
"That'll probably never stop," Wood said. "It's been a good spring so far. I've been blending in and getting my work in."
Prior, 26, has made one Cactus League start in the last three years, and that was in 2005. His right shoulder has been an issue, too, and he spent the winter strengthening it. Will finally getting in a game put an end to Prior being the center of attention?
"I guess," he said. "Everybody's been writing me off anyways, but you're at my locker every day. I know if I'm pitching every fifth day it's no story. I'm doing everything I can to pitch until my body tells me otherwise, I'll go about my business."
Wood and Prior were considered the cornerstones that the Cubs could build on. Instead, injuries have kept the two on the side. Prior made nine starts last season and came into camp without a spot guaranteed. Wood now is designated for the bullpen as a setup pitcher.
"I just do what I do," Prior said. "When people were blowing me up after '02 and '03, it didn't change the way I approached things at all. Obviously, things have turned but that's just the nature of the business. It's what have you done for me lately, and what are you going to do for me tomorrow. It doesn't change the focus of what I'll put into a game or prepare for a game. I always work the same way."
Carlos Zambrano, Jason Marquis, Ted Lilly and Rich Hill appear set for the Cubs rotation. There's one opening, which Prior hopes to fill.
"If I prove I'm healthy, I'll have a position," Prior said. "At the end of the spring, who knows? It's not up to me. The only thing I focus on is going out and pitching. All the other decisions aren't made by me. I don't have any control over it, so it doesn't affect what I do. It doesn't change the way I pitch or compete any less or more based on question marks on where I might be. It really doesn't matter."
Monday's game won't be the first time Wood and Prior have pitched in the same game. In 2005, when Wood switched to the bullpen, he appeared in relief in three of Prior's starts in August.