June 9, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Alex Wood (58) pitches in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Move Alex Wood To The Pen

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As was widely expected and I predicted here a couple of days ago, the insertion of Gavin Floyd into the rotation has now resulted in the Braves formally moving Alex wood to the bullpen.

Wood is certainly a boost for a bullpen whose only remaining lefty – Luis Avilan – has struggled this year. As a reliever Woody has appeared in 20 games last season, throwing 212/3 innings and allowing 5 runs on 17 hits – no home runs – and striking out 23 while walking only 5. That translates to an ERA of 2.08 and more importantly in my view a WHIP of 1.015 and a strand rate of 77.3%. Even though Brooks Baseball shows Woody using a 4 seam fastball he’s decidedly a ground ball pitcher as a starter – 46.3% in 2013 – and even more inclined that way as  a reliever; 57.7%. Wood’s fastballs gain a little bit when he pitches in relief making them harder to hit. Hitters put up a .233/.275/.288/.563 line against him in relief last season.

The move is sort of temporary as Woody will start next weekend  in St Louis. San Francisco but that’s mostly due to the long road trip  after that it’s on an as needed basis.

UPDATE:

This move allows the Braves to kill two birds with one stone. As well as strengthening their bullpen, it limits Wood’s innings early on and keeps him fresh for the final post season push and hopefully October baseball.

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