MLB Atlanta Braves

2013 MLB Playoffs: Alex Wood Should Be a Key Member of the Atlanta Braves’ Bullpen

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, I gave my thoughts on what the Atlanta Braves‘ starting rotation should look like in the 2013 MLB Playoffs, with Kris MedlenMike MinorJulio Teheran and Freddy Garcia making up the staff.

While this would leave left-handed starters Paul Maholm and Alex Wood out of the equation, I still feel that the latter should be an important presence in the Braves’ bullpen throughout the postseason.

There’s still a chance that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez will choose to put Wood in his playoff rotation, but I think the rookie southpaw would be better utilized as a reliever, especially given the fact that the two lefties in Atlanta’s bullpen — Luis Avilan and Scott Downs — have struggled a bit as of late.

Since Wood’s first taste of the big leagues came as part of the club’s relief corps earlier this season, with the 22-year-old doing a great job in 15 appearances out of the ‘pen before moving to the rotation in late July, he is certainly no stranger to late-inning work.

I’m not saying that the 24-year-old Avilan (1.60 ERA in 62 innings with the Braves) and 37-year-old Downs (1.91 ERA in 42.1 innings with the Braves and Los Angeles Angels) should be als0-rans come October, as they will both continue to be key contributors. I’m also not saying that their recent less-than-stellar outings, which really haven’t been too bad, are anything to be overly concerned about.

What I am saying, however, is that Wood deserves to be given a fairly heavy part of the workload — as long as he doesn’t jaw with umpires every game, that is.

Then again, as I’ve stated before, sometimes that can be a good thing. It definitely fired his team up the last time he did it.

Who doesn’t get angry at C.B. Bucknor?

Josh McKinney is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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