Alex Wood Sharp In First Triple-A Start

Alex Wood Braves Start

Alex Wood won his firs start at Triple-A Gwinnett

Atlanta Braves pitcher, Alex Wood, pitched well Thursday night for the Gwinnett Braves.  Wood started and went five strong innings, giving up one run, while walking two and striking out five, in his first Triple-A appearance.

Wood got the win as Gwinnett crushed Indianapolis, 10-3.

Cody Martin, who usually starts for Gwinnett, came on in the sixth inning and pitched the final four innings to save the game for Wood.

Alex Wood has pitched well out of the bullpen for the Atlanta Braves this season, compiling a 2.45 earned run average.  In 22 innings he has given up only 16 hits, while striking out 26 and walking only 8.  Opposing batters have only a .213 average against Wood.

After pitching 3 2/3 innings against the Reds last Saturday, Wood was optioned to Gwinnett.  With all the outfield injuries they had incurred, the Braves needed to bring up Jose Constanza to help cover for the B.J. Upton, Justin Upton and Jason Heyward injuries.

So what is the Braves’ plan for Alex Wood the rest of 2013?  Will he stay at Gwinnett and continue to develop as a starter?  Or will he return to Atlanta and resume his bullpen role?

Frank Wren talked recently about the Braves potentially making a move before the trade deadline to add bullpen help.  Could part of that plan be to acquire a lefty so Wood can stay at Gwinnett and continue to develop as a starter?

Wood was a lights out starter at Double-A Mississippi before being called up to Atlanta.  In 10 starts he compiled a miniscule 1.26 ERA.  His mid 90s fastball and good control could make him a very valuable major league starter.

Wood has proven that he is a major league pitcher, the Braves just have to decide where they want him to pitch and what role they want him to assume.

  • Jim Hart

    Do you think Alex Wood short start or relieve? Should he stay at Gwinnett and stretch out his arm, or should he be reinstated right now into Atlanta’s bullpen?

  • Bob Long

    According to Mark Bowman, Wood is being stretched out to assume a position in the starting rotation in Atlanta. His assumption is that Medlin gets moved to the ‘pen and, possibly, Maholm gets traded when Beachy is set to return.
    However it plays out, one thing is sure, Wood is a talented pitcher.

    • Jim Hart

      Bob, that sounds like a couple major stumbling blocks have to happen before Wood could step into the rotation.

      He has pitched well, but most of his appearances have been mop up duty. There is also talk that he needs a third pitch to be an effective major league starter. We’ll see.

      • Bob Long

        Hey, this isn’t my scenario! I’m just reporting what Bowman has opined!

        • Jim Hart

          What is your scenario, Bob?

          • Bob Long

            Truthfully, I would have Beachy pitch at AAA until he throws at least 100 pitches AND is efficient in his pitches. In other words, until he throws 7 innings with 100 or fewer pitches, I’d leave him in Gwinnett to work off the rust. If he can’t last 7 innings in AAA, there is no way he can last 6 innings in Atlanta. Major League hitters are much more selective, just ask Teheran or Randal Delgado.

          • Jim Hart

            Bob. I think your reasoning is sound, but the trade deadline is coming up fast and the Braves need to find out where he is at before they consider trading Maholm and/or Hudson.

            Hate to say it but I think they may have to push Beachy out there a little quicker than perhaps they’d like.

          • Bob Long

            I have to agree that they are going to rush Beachy, as well as Wood, but is it the best thing to do? Is one play-off push more important than the longevity of a starting pitcher? The Nats and Strasburg may say yes, but I prefer to err on the side of caution when dealing with pitchers. The way the Braves are built, they should contend for the next 3 years or more. There is no reason to panic and screw up the development, or rehab, of a pitcher

            Trade from the farm to get a lefty reliever and a LH bench bat. Keep developing pitchers the way they have been doing. It has worked for, what, 20 years or more?