Can Alex Wood insert himself into the NL Cy Young conversation?
Alex Wood is finally an All-Star this year, but that isn’t even the biggest surprise from him in 2017. He has arguably been the best pitcher on the Dodgers this year and one of the top pitchers in all of baseball.
He is 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, 2.03 FIP, 246 ERA+, and 0.2 HR/9 this year. These are numbers that would make anyone the odds-on favorite for the Cy Young Award and even in contention for the MVP Award.
Alex Wood’s only problem? His late start. He has only thrown 80.2 innings. He needs to average at least one inning per game to qualify for the leaderboards in these categories. This means he’d need at least 162 innings and he’s half way there. However, his 80.2 innings came in 90 games, and he will have 20 fewer games post the ASG.
Even if he were to qualify, he most likely would not have the innings to even compete with Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, as those two are workhorses who will go 200+ in that department.
Earlier in the season when he returned to the rotation, Wood would only last about five innings and would hardly pitch into the sixth. This was due to his pitch inefficiency and the Dodgers monitoring him after his injury in 2016.
He has lasted deeper into games more recently, but you can count on LA to limit his workload to keep him healthy and fresh for October. It’s also no guarantee that he will continue to pitch as he has so far, although metrics say he is legit. Even if he weren’t in the conversation for the Cy, he deserves a lot more national attention than he has been receiving.