Dodgers: Alex Wood deserves a spot in the Rotation
Alex Wood has been a key part of the Dodgers’ pitching rotation and bullpen. After his last few games, he has proven why he deserves to be in the rotation.
Wood started off the season in the bullpen for the Dodgers. After Rich Hill’s exit due to yet another blister problem, Wood got his shot in the rotation. His first game as a starter saw him struggle with command while only going 3.2 innings. His second start of the season wasn’t any better. He got knocked around pretty well by the Diamondbacks, surrendering four earned runs in just 4.2 innings.
Nevertheless, he had locked up a spot as a starting pitcher. His next two games he faced the Giants, once at home and once in San Francisco. Strangely, the game in San Francisco was his better of the two. He went six innings giving up only one hit and allowing no runs. At home, however, the Giants beat up on him pretty badly, scoring five runs, four earned, in only five innings pitched.
The game that solidified why Wood deserves a spot was his start on May 8th against the Pirates. He pitched five innings and only gave up two hits while striking out 11. After this start, he lowered his ERA to 2.73 and even set a new Dodgers’ franchise record that game.
He was just as good in yesterday’s start against the Rockies. He pitched six innings and didn’t give up any runs, and for the second game in a row hit double-digits in strikeouts. Last night he struck out 10 Rockies and walked only one. Remember, this is Coors Field we’re talking about; the ultimate hitter’s haven. He has shown consistency and better command during his more recent starts.
Wood is making a case for himself to avoid being sent back to the bullpen. He currently has the lowest ERA on the team sitting at 2.27 (Kershaw isn’t far behind with an ERA of 2.43). Urias does have a lower ERA, but he has only pitched in three games versus Wood’s six.
With the Dodgers’ win tonight, his record improves to 4-0. Wood is only 26-years-old which makes him the youngest pitcher in the rotation outside of 20-year-old Urias. This gives the Dodgers the time to work on Wood’s potential and use him during his prime years.
More from LA Dodgers News
- Dodgers’ 2023 lineup without Trea Turner isn’t as impressive as it should be
- Recapping who Dodgers gained and lost in Rule 5 Draft
- Dodgers ironically sign former all-star to potentially replace Cody Bellinger
- Padres-Xander Bogaerts contract feels like Manny Machado desperation
- Aaron Judge leaving Giants directionless is another massive win for Dodgers
Wood’s numbers this season have looked outstanding. When you put him and Kershaw’s numbers side by side they’re almost identical. Granted, Wood has pitched only 35.2 innings due to starting the season off in the bullpen and the fact that he does not go deep into games like Kershaw. But his numbers are still impressive.
Kershaw has pitched 55.2 innings and has given up 45 hits and 15 earned runs while Wood has given up 25 hits and nine earned runs. However, he does have the 2nd most walks in the rotation with 11.
When you look at his strikeouts for the season, he is putting up better numbers than Kershaw is. Wood currently has 48 strikeouts, and Kershaw has 57. Again, Kershaw has pitched 20 more innings this year than Wood has, so those numbers are very impressive. He has also only given up one home run on the season while Kershaw has given up seven.
Next: Kershaw Has Yet To Find His Groove
When you take an overall look at Wood’s stats, he is currently putting up Kershaw-like numbers. Of course, he isn’t the same beast Kershaw is, but he is giving the team a chance to win every game, which is exactly what Kershaw has done. Wood deserves a spot in this rotation and with his recent performances I can’t imagine the Dodgers actually taking him out of it.