In 2015, Alex Wood went 5-6 with a 4.35 ERA for the Dodgers. In 2016, he went 1-4 with a 3.73 ERA.
But this year? This year, Wood is 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP, and has 97 strikeouts in 80.2 innings.
Where did this come from?
“I don’t know where it came from, to be honest with you,” NBC LA Dodgers reporter Michael Duarte said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “This is a guy who, when we were covering the team in spring training, was fighting for that fifth and final roster spot in the starting rotation for the Dodgers – and at one point, it seemed like Alex Wood had locked it down. But then there was a split-squad game towards the end of March, and everybody went and watched Kershaw. Well, I went and followed Alex Wood, who was making a start against the Mariners.”
Wood, 26, allowed four home runs in the first inning. The next day, he was banished to the bullpen.
Fast-forward a few months, though, and Wood has allowed one earned run or fewer in eight of his last nine starts.
“What we’re seeing now absolutely has come out of left field,” Duarte said. “But I wonder if the front office guys like Andrew Friedman, if this is kind of what they were hoping for or looking for when they traded for Alex Wood at the All-Star break two years ago from the Braves.”
Atlanta traded Wood to Los Angeles – along with Jim Johnson, Jose Peraza, Bronson Arroyo, and Luis Avilan – in July 2015 for Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, and Zach Bird.
“(The Dodgers) saw something in him,” Duarte said of Wood. “He was probably the best piece of that puzzle and the one that stuck around from all those trades two years ago. He was also the one under contract the longest. It’s just taken him a nice stretch to get healthy and to be consistent to do what he’s doing now.”