The difference a year can make… This time last season, Alex Wood was beginning his ramp-up process at Goodyear Ballpark with the Cincinnati Reds in Goodyear, Arizona — about 10 miles from a Dodgers team he had spent the previous 4 seasons with. However, a back injury suffered during camp limited the lefty to 7 starts in his free agent walk year and helped lead to his return to the LA ballclub.
While his numbers weren’t good in 2019 (1-3, 5.80 ERA in 35.2 IP), it wasn’t a complete waste of a season. Later in the campaign, Cincinnati acquired pitcher Trevor Bauer from the Cleveland Indians for Yasiel Puig. In their short time together, Driveline spokesperson Bauer pitched the idea that Wood visit the baseball performance development program.
Remote trainee, FA @Awood45 coming to the end of his on-ramp phase with his first 80+% intent day off the bump.
On ramp areas of focus:
-getting accustomed to weighted ball training and drills
-cleaning up arm path
Alex has absolutely crushed this on ramp. Dude is a warrior. pic.twitter.com/jM6XdOyXQU
— Rob Hill (@Berticushill) November 22, 2019
Back with the Dodgers, Wood spoke with Ken Gurnick of dodgers.com about his time with Driveline, and how he got there.
I’ve cleaned up a lot of things. I wish I would have done it a long time ago. I was fortunate in Cincinnati, we traded for Trevor. He’s one of the smartest guys I’ve ever been around. I literally love every single second I got to spend around him. After speaking with him at length, he convinced me to go. Once I learned the intricacies and what they do, I felt it was made for me with the unique way that I throw.
Teamwork makes the dreamwork, it seems.
Enter to Win a Justin Turner Signed Bat!
A healthy Wood adds another All-Star pitcher to the Dodgers’ pool of plus arms. The 29-year-old’s finest season came with Los Angeles in 2017 where he posted a 16-3 record with a 2.72 ERA in 25 starts. The lefty expects to slot into the number 5 spot in the Dodgers rotation this season.
As a final note, the club welcomed Alex back by having him face Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger in his first live batting practice session.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 18, 2020
On the arrangement, Andrew Freidman said, “whoever set that up clearly doesn’t like Alex Wood.”