Alex Wood – Start or Bullpen?
Atlanta Braves lefty Alex Wood could be a key this season as either a starter or reliever or both. The pitcher with the funky delivery proved effective in both roles last season.
The Braves don’t have many questions this spring, but one they do have is whether Wood should start all season, relieve all season, or relieve first then start. I’m learning towards Wood starting the season in the bullpen and if Beachy and either Freddy Garcia or Gavin Floyd are effective in the fourth and fifth starter roles, keep Wood there all season.
Braves GM Frank Wren said last week that Wood is being prepared as a starter this season and they consider him a starter long-term.
Wood has earned the opportunity to start all season, but does that make the most sense for the Braves? Not only is Wood an excellent lefty option out of the bullpen, the Braves will have more starter depth if they begin the season with Freddy Garcia in the number five starter slot and when Gavin Floyd returns, trade or release Garcia.
The concern is with Beachy and Floyd still question marks, what happens if you cast aside Garcia now so Wood can start? You could come up short in the starting rotation in the worst case scenario. I really don’t like Garcia in the bullpen, he would be taking a spot instead of someone who is a bullpen specialist. Garcia has stated he won’t go to the minors if he doesn’t make the big club.
How do you think the Braves should use Wood this season?