Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made a difficult decision to demote Alex Wood to the bullpen for the remainder of the season in favor of Ross Stripling.
Wood currently leads the team in starts this season and hasn’t made an appearance out of the bullpen since April 2017. Although, he has made 37 relief appearances over the course of his six-year Major League career.
While he understandably is not happy about the change, Wood is willing to make the move as his biggest concern is helping the Dodgers reach the postseason, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“That’s what they felt was the best move going forward with my experience in the bullpen and how we matchup over these last however many games,” Wood said. “It was the best recipe to get us to the postseason. There wasn’t a big argument or anything.
“If this were the middle of the year, there might be a different reaction. But at this point, we’ve got one goal in mind. This is the way they feel gives us the best chance going forward. It’s hard not to get on board with that as much as you might disagree with it.”
In Wood’s last four starts, he has pitched to a 4.58 ERA. The team lost three of the four games, including when Wood gave up seven runs (six earned) in 3.2 innings in his last outing against the Cincinnati Reds, which led to Roberts making the change.
Overall in 27 starts this season, Wood is 8-7 with a 3.65 ERA, 3.55 FIP and 1.22 WHIP. He has 131 strikeouts and 39 walks in 148 innings.
It is no secret that the Dodgers bullpen has struggled throughout the year. So Wood can help stabilize that unit and be a weapon for the club if they return to the postseason, much like Kenta Maeda has done each of the last two seasons.