The Atlanta Braves as of the final week of the 2013 regular Major League Baseball season have the best overall bullpen in the game. Considering what some call their recent struggles, this might seem a bit odd to read but it is true just the same. In spite of their stance as the best in baseball, Fredi Gonzalez is opting to send rookie sensation Alex Wood to the bullpen for the balance of the 2013 MLB postseason. This is a wonderful move for the Braves.
First and foremost, this is a great idea because they really don’t need Wood starting this season during the playoffs. Honestly, though his innings are not being called the current issue with his starting role, he still has thrown a lot of innings for a guy that is really starting his first professional pitching season this year. He could start for sure but the Braves don’t need any help there. They do need a little help in the bullpen though.
Their 2.47 ERA and 1.13 WHIP both serve as the best mark in all of baseball. The closest postseason bound teams to them are the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. The Kansas City Royals are closer but not looking to have a cemented spot. Even still, there are some injury issues as well as tired issues that are slowing down the great performance of this bullpen. They will get a little rest this week probably but they still could use an extra lefty to help out.
Something big to remember here is that Wood has experience from this season pitching out of the bullpen and he did a good job in that role. As a reliever Wood had 19.2 innings giving up only 5 runs. That’s good enough for a 2.29 ERA. Perhaps most importantly going into the postseason is that he gave up zero home runs, walked only five and struck out 21. He is surely a starter of the future but this year expect to see him in big situations during the postseason as a reliever.