Last season, the Chicago Cubs found a solid closer in Ryan Dempster, who made the switch to the position during the season and became one of three Major League pitchers to both make a start and save 30 games in a single season. He finished the season with 33 saves in 35 opportunities.
Unfortunately, injuries hindered the Chicago Cubs' postseason chances. Nomar Garciaparra missed three months with a groin injury, Kerry Wood's injured right shoulder forced him to push back his Opening Day start and nagged him all season, causing him to miss two months, Mark Prior missed significant time after being hit in the elbow on a line drive and Aramis Ramirez missed the final six weeks because of a leg injury. Todd Walker, Jerry Hairston and Ronny Cedeno also battled significant injuries that hurt the Chicago Cubs down the stretch.