Alex Wood – Start or Bullpen?

Alex Wood Braves Start

Alex Wood

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?

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To be honest, has Garcia even allowed a run in his last 14 innings: for the Braves:) It is too much to ask for Garcia him to be effective for a whole season, Floyd either, but if they can hold down #5 for even part of the season, put Wood in the bullpen until Venters and Beachy prove healthy. He is probabaly going to be limited in innings anyway this year so put him in the pen early instead of shutting him down late.

Mike Crowe
Mike Crowe
Put Wood out there and let him pitch for crying out loud. They said he’s a starter didn’t they? If a 22 year old kid can’t start 30 games in the ML then send him down to American Legion. If Garcia says he won’t go to the minors then I would make his dicision for him, “Good-bye, have a good life.” Perhaps if baseball went back to the four man rotation (some teams used a three man) then perhaps we would have men pitching again and stronger arms. We’ve seen what pitch count does in the minors. I don’t get… Read more »
Wayne Canon
Wayne Canon

What drives me up the wall is when they send a pitcher who is doing pretty good down to the minors to “build up his endurance”.
uhhh…..couldn’t they keep him in the bigs, let him start the game on an increasing pitch count. Have him start and have a 30-35 pitch limit and increase it next time.

Robert Joseph Cerasuolo
Robert Joseph Cerasuolo

Here’s who’s left when it comes to starting pitching Odrisamer Despaigne (27)
Jon Garland (34)
Jair Jurrjens (28)
Jeff Karstens (31)
Jason Marquis (35)
Jeff Niemann (31)
Clayton Richard (30)
Ervin Santana (31)
Barry Zito (36)

I mean if it was up to me I would sign Santana Marquis and Jurrjens just to be on the safe side.