What happened in 2016: An elbow injury displaced him from the starting rotation after a promising start to the year, but Alex Wood returned to the team in a relief role in September.
The left-hander with the quirky yet effective delivery and so much potential began the season in the starting rotation for the Dodgers, making ten starts through the end of May. On May 21 in San Diego, Wood impressed by striking out a career-high 13 batters over six innings including a befuddled Matt Kemp.
The adjustments to his mechanics seemed to tap into his often overlooked potential, but of course since he’s a Dodger, his reward for this would be an unfortunate injury that would force him out of the rotation and onto the disabled list for a lengthy chunk of the season.
Wood’s final start in 2016, on Memorial Day, was pushed back due to left triceps tightness. Consequently during that time, Julio Urias made his Dodger debut on May 27. Wood would subsequently be shut down with a left elbow impingement that eventually led to arthroscopic surgery on July 20. He would not pitch again for the Dodgers until September 21.
When Wood did return to the mound in September, it was in a relief role. He appeared in four games out of the bullpen during the regular season (four innings pitched), holding opponents to a .083 batting average while allowing just one base hit, one walk and striking out four.
Dave Roberts added Wood to the Dodgers’ NLCS roster, and he pitched two scoreless innings in his Game 4 appearance against the Cubs.
2017 status: Wood is in the mix for a starting rotation spot, but with a lot of competition going into Spring Training, his value out of the bullpen will be evaluated as well. He’s projected to make $2 million in 2017 through arbitration, his first year of eligibility.