The scene in Wednesday night’s game was terrible for the Atlanta Braves and Tim Hudson. To the horror of everyone watching around Major League Baseball, Hudson suffered a gruesome broken ankle in an accident at first base. He will be out for the year without a doubt which is a loss both in the clubhouse and on the mound. For the mound part of the equation, there could be a couple of big debuts coming soon and one belongs to Alex Wood.
Wood has starting duties for the Braves today in the finale with the New York Mets. He has been a positive impact in the bullpen this year but has been a starter by trade most of his career. Whatever starts he has made here and there don’t matter nearly as much as this one. This is his debut to see if he can be a constant member of the starting rotation. With the injury to Hudson, Wood’s role just got a lot larger.
There are still talks to send Kris Medlen to the bullpen which would create three holes in the rotation coupled with the injuries to Hudson and Paul Maholm. Just how much the Braves need to do, if anything, on the trade market will likely depend on the success of Wood’s role as a starter. Brandon Beachey will probably step right in to Hudson’s spot in the rotation and is expected to perform plenty well enough to take the job. Wood’s is the question mark.
He has ability and he now has the opportunity. There was already plenty of pressure on him but with the Hudson situation his role is now much larger. Instead of the Braves giving him a chance, they now need him to perform up to his potential. Today’s start will probably go a long way towards what the Braves have to do before the Wednesday trade deadline.