When it comes to Major League Baseball, athletes have an individual story of the process and the special qualities that make them a special athlete. For Major League pitchers, each style of pitching brings forth a different appearance that batters will have to face.
As a part of the 13-player, three-team trade with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins, southpaw Alex Wood was brought in to establish a presence in the backend of the starting rotation. Wood brings with him an unorthodox pitching style that many aren’t used to.
During his playing time with the Braves, the 24-year-old had an unusual delivery in which his arms and legs flail from side to side before the baseball is delivered to the plate. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt was asked about the abnormal delivery and responded by speaking the truth, via Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times:
When you see arms and legs coming at you and then all of a sudden, here’s the ball,” Honeycutt said. “Whatever works for each individual. He’s pitched pretty well with the way he throws.”
Through 20 starts in the 2015 season, Wood is 7-6, with a 3.54 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, and an ERA+ of 105. Besides a slip-up at the hitter-friendly Coors Field, Wood has only allowed seven earned runs in his previous five starts. In his last outing against the Baltimore Orioles, the third-year player dominated. In 7.1 innings tossed, Wood allowed three hits, two walks, and zero earned runs in a no-decision.
Wood isn’t too enthused about his season so far, but believes it’s a necessary evil:
In all truth, it’s probably been the first time since my first full season back from Tommy John that I’ve had a little bit of ups and downs and taken my lumps,” Wood said. “But I think it’s been good. Every year is a new learning experience for me. It’ll make me better in the long run.”
The 2012 second round draft pick’s acquisition was described as an unexpected surprise as a part of the Mat Latos deal, and with his team-friendly contract, he can contribute in a fashion well above the value he is slotted at. Wood will be making his Dodger debut on Tuesday, as the team opens up a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.