At this point, can Edwin Jackson be far away from becoming the Cubs’ next flavor of the month in the fifth-starter role?

Or maybe the return of Travis Wood?

Cubs manager Joe Maddon refused to go there, even on a night he felt compelled to yank Tsuyoshi Wada from a start in the fourth inning for the second time in a week – just to have a chance to preserve an early lead that turned into a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds Thursday night.

“I’m not even thinking that right now,” Maddon said when asked if there was any chance Wada would be replaced by the time his spot comes up again Tuesday. “

With the Cubs just three games into a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, it doesn’t take many starts like Wada’s to crush a bullpen.

“He’s an easy mark right now, there’s no question,” said Maddon of the finesse left-hander whose velocity has dropped slightly since an impressive season debut three weeks ago. “We need to try to get him back to where he had been those first couple starts. … I’m not saying it’s a dead arm, but it’s just a matter that he might be having to get through that particular phase [five starts in] and come back out the other side.”