Alex Wood (baseball)

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Alex Wood
Alex Wood pitching for the Mississippi Braves in 2013.jpg
Wood with the Los Angeles
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 57
Pitcher
Born: (1991-01-12) January 12, 1991 (age 27)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Bats: Right Throws: Left
MLB debut
May 30, 2013, for the Atlanta Braves
MLB statistics
(through July 14, 2018)
Win–loss record 48–38
Earned run average 3.30
Strikeouts 697
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Robert Alexander Wood (born January 12, 1991) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). Before playing professional baseball, Wood played for his high school team at Ardrey Kell High School and college baseball for the Georgia Bulldogs. He made his MLB debut during the 2013 season for the Atlanta Braves.

Early life[edit]

Wood was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended Ardrey Kell High School,[1] where he played for the school's baseball team, he was named the North Carolina Class 4A player of the year in 2009.[2]

He enrolled at the University of Georgia, where he played college baseball for the Georgia Bulldogs baseball team.[3] Wood was redshirted during his first season at Georgia because he had required Tommy John surgery after his senior season of high school baseball. At Georgia, Wood had a 13-10 win-loss record and a 3.57 ERA in 32 games pitched. He struck out 180 batters and walked 47 in ​204 13 innings.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

Wood before a Braves game (2014)

The Atlanta Braves selected Wood in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He played for the Rome Braves of the Class A South Atlantic League in 2012, where he pitched in 13 games, going 4-3 with a 2.22 earned run average (ERA) and 52 strikeouts.[3] He began the 2013 season with the Mississippi Braves of the Class AA Southern League.[5]

After pitching in ten games the first two months of the season and posting an ERA of 1.26, the Braves promoted him to the major leagues on May 30.[6] That night, in his major league debut, he pitched the ninth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays. Wood made his first major league start on June 18, 2013 where he allowed one run and earned his first loss.[7]

Wood finished the 2014 season with an 11-11 record and a 2.78 ERA in 171.2 innings with 170 strikeouts.[8][9]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

On July 30, 2015, in a three-team trade, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Wood, Mat Latos, Michael Morse, Bronson Arroyo, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilán, and José Peraza, while the Miami Marlins acquired minor league pitchers Victor Araujo, Jeff Brigham, and Kevin Guzman, and the Braves received Héctor Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, minor league pitcher Zachary Bird and a competitive balance draft pick for the 2016 MLB Draft.[10] He joined the Dodgers starting rotation and was 5–6 with a 4.35 ERA in 12 starts for them.[11]

Wood began 2016 in the Dodgers starting rotation. He made 10 starts in April and May and was 1–4 with a 3.99 ERA.[12] On May 21 against the San Diego Padres he struck out a career high 13 batters in only six innings of work, the first Dodgers pitcher in history to have struck out that many in so few innings.[13] However, he reported that he was not feeling 100% after a May 30 outing against the Chicago Cubs.[14] An MRI exam the next day revealed a posterior impingement in his left elbow, requiring four weeks of rest, and he was placed on the disabled list.[15] On June 16, he reported that the infringement subsided after he had some fluid drained from his elbow and he would be cleared to resume a throwing program a few days earlier than expected.[16] He threw a simulated game against minor league hitters on July 16 and early reports were that it went well.[17] However, shortly afterwards it was determined that he would need elbow debridement surgery, which would cause him to miss an additional two months.[18] He did not rejoin the Dodgers roster until September 20.[19] Overall, he appeared in 14 games for the Dodgers in 2016 (10 starts) and was 1–4 with a 3.73 ERA.[20] The Dodgers did not carry Wood on their roster for the first round of the playoffs, but on October 15, he was added to their roster for the league championship series.[21][22] He pitched two scoreless innings in that series.[20] After the season, Wood signed a $2.8 million contract with the Dodgers for 2017, avoiding salary arbitration.[23]

After beginning the 2017 season in the bullpen, Wood moved to the rotation after an injury to Rich Hill. He won the National League Player of the Week Award for the week of May 8–14 after he pitched 11 scoreless innings with 21 strikeouts over two starts that week.[24] A few weeks later he was also awarded with the National League Pitcher of the Month Award after he went 5–0 with a 1.27 ERA and 41 strikeouts in May.[25] Wood eventually had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 28 on June 10.[26] On July 5, Wood became the first Dodgers starting pitcher to begin the season 10–0 since Don Newcombe in 1955.[27] On July 7, Wood was named to the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[28] In 27 appearances for the Dodgers (25 starts and two early season relief appearances) he was 16–3 with a 2.72 ERA and struck out 151 batters.[20] He allowed three runs in 4​23 innings in his one start in the 2017 NLCS[20] but in the 2017 World Series he started game four and allowed only one run in 5​23 innings and then came back and pitched two shutout innings of relief in game seven.[29] In the off-season, Wood signed a one-year, $6 million, contract to avoid salary arbitration.[30]

Pitching style[edit]

Wood pitches with a herky-jerky three-quarters delivery. Based on his previous success, Wood began regularly pitching from the stretch position starting in 2018.[31] He throws a four-seam fastball 91 to 95 miles per hour (146–153 km/h), a two-seam sinker 91 to 95 mph (146 to 153 km/h), a changeup 84 to 85 miles per hour (135–137 km/h), and a knuckle curve 79 to 81 miles per hour (127–130 km/h).[32][33][34][35]

Personal life[edit]

Wood married his longtime girlfriend, Suzanna Villarreal, a realtor, on November 25, 2017, in Dacula, Georgia.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charlotte native makes MLB debut with Atlanta Braves". WCNC-TV. May 31, 2013. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ "HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK, ARDREY KELL'S WOOD, SOUTH STANLY'S POPLIN HONORED". Charlotte Observer. July 14, 2009. p. 2C. Retrieved September 27, 2013.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b Bowman, Mark (May 24, 2013). "Prospect Alex Wood making impression on Braves | braves.com: News". Atlanta.braves.mlb.com. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  4. ^ Towers, Chip (June 5, 2012). "UGA's Alex Wood thrilled to be drafted by Atlanta Braves". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ Curtright, Guy (April 16, 2013). "SL notes: Wood struts 'nasty' stuff | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Milb.com. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  6. ^ Rodgers, Carroll (February 29, 2012). "Braves promote left-hander Alex Wood". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved May 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ "New York Mets (26-40) 4, Atlanta Braves (42-29) 3 - June 18, 2013". MLB.com. . Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  8. ^ Beller, Michael (February 12, 2015). "Player Profile: Don't sleep on Alex Wood, who has plenty of room to grow". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 27, 2018. 
  9. ^ O'Brien, David (February 10, 2015). "Go ahead and doubt Alex Wood, Braves lefty thrives on it". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved February 27, 2018. 
  10. ^ Bowman, Mark (July 30, 2015). "Braves to get Olivera in huge 3-team deal". MLB.com. Retrieved July 30, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Alex Wood 2015 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Alex Wood 2016 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  13. ^ Weisman, Jon (May 21, 2016). "Alex Wood sets career high in strikeouts with 13". Dodgers.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  14. ^ Hoornstra, J.P. (May 30, 2016). "LA Dodgers muster only one hit in 2-0 loss to Chicago Cubs". LA Daily News. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  15. ^ Stephen, Eric (June 1, 2016). "Alex Wood to rest 4 weeks after MRI reveals elbow impingement". SB Nation. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  16. ^ Hoornstra, J.P. (June 16, 2016). "LA Dodgers' Alex Wood gets good news, will begin throwing next week". LA Daily News. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  17. ^ Gurnick, Ken (July 16, 2016). "Kershaw, Wood make strides in sim games". mlb.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  18. ^ McCullough, Andy (July 20, 2016). "Dodgers' Alex Wood will miss an estimated eight weeks after elbow procedure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  19. ^ Stephen, Eric (September 20, 2016). "Dodgers activate Alex Wood from DL, DFA Bud Norris". SB Nation. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  20. ^ a b c d "Alex Wood Statistics & History". Baseball Reference. 
  21. ^ Axsia, Mike (October 7, 2016). "MLB Postseason 2016: Dodgers and Nationals announce NLDS rosters". CBS Sports. Retrieved October 16, 2016. 
  22. ^ McCollough, Andy (October 16, 2016). "Dodgers add Enrique Hernandez, Alex Wood to NLCS roster against Cubs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 15, 2016. 
  23. ^ Stephen, Eric (January 13, 2017). "Dodgers avoid salary arbitration with Alex Wood". SB Nation. Retrieved January 13, 2017. 
  24. ^ Stephen, Eric (May 15, 2017). "Alex Wood named NL Player of the Week". SB Nation. Retrieved May 15, 2017. 
  25. ^ Lara-Cinesomo, Vince (June 2, 2017). "Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger Among May's Best". Baseball America. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 
  26. ^ Thornton, Joshua and Austin Laymance (June 11, 2017). "Dodgers top Reds on Seager's walk-off 2B". MLB.com. Retrieved June 11, 2017. 
  27. ^ Gilbert, Steve and Ken Gurnick (July 6, 2017). "Wood you believe it? Another gem for L.A. lefty". mlb.com. Retrieved July 6, 2017. 
  28. ^ Stephen, Eric (July 7, 2017). "Alex Wood named to National League All-Star team". SB Nation. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Alex Wood Post-season game logs". Baseball Reference. Retrieved November 27, 2017. 
  30. ^ Stephen, Eric (January 12, 2018). "Alex Wood signs for reported $6 million, avoids arbitration". SB Nation. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  31. ^ "Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch". HardballTalk. 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2018-04-18. 
  32. ^ Cicchella, Joel (September 5, 2013). "Getting to Know The Braves' Alex Wood: A Scouting Report & Outlook". Roto Professor. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  33. ^ Rogers, Carroll (May 30, 2013). "Braves promote left-hander Alex Wood". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  34. ^ Jones, Landon (December 19, 2013). "Alex Wood and small samples". Beyondd the Boxscore. SBNation. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Alex Wood Pitch Repertoire At-A-Glance". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Suzanna Villarreal, Alex Wood's Fiancee: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". heavy. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Iván Nova
National League
Pitcher of the Month

May 2017
Succeeded by
Current