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Dodgers: Starter Alex Wood Attributes Driveline Visit to Trevor Bauer

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.

So he did.

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.

On the arrangement, Andrew Freidman said, “whoever set that up clearly doesn’t like Alex Wood.”

NEXT: Walker Buehler Took Off-Season Routine From Max Scherzer

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. I seriously believe that A.Wood will be a complete surprise to everyone this season. Look for him to return to his 2017 form and, along with a rejuvenated D.Price, make the 2020 Dodgers one of the best rotations in recent baseball history.

    Buehler/Kershaw/Price/Stripling/Wood with Urias spot-starting. May/Gonsolin/Santana available for a start here and there. Wow!

    • Urias over Stripling. Urias has a shot at surpassing both Kershaw and Price as the number 2 starter. If the Driveline training has added a couple of ticks to Wood’s velocity he could be really good too.

      • While I agree with the high ceiling for Urias – and really cannot wait until he gets back on track as a full-time starter – I went with Stripling to balance out the rotation a bit and Urias in the pen for an added lefty there.

        Both are interchangeable though so either way I see, easily, one of the best rotations in baseball, that said, I see Urias getting approx 15 starts with Stripling around 15 as well.

        May and Gonsolin should share about another 15 starts between them as well, Price and Wood each should not be anywhere near 30 starts. Low 20s for them.

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