Remember that time at the beginning of the year when the Atlanta Braves‘ starting pitching was absolutely lights-out seemingly every single night out? Remember what Alex Wood did during six of his seven starts to begin the year?
He was downright the best pitcher we had on the staff, giving up two runs or less in those six starts, with one rough outing against the Miami Marlins on April 29. His record of 2-5 at the time when he was put into the bullpen wasn’t due to a lack of performance from Wood — it was due the fact that the Braves only scored two total runs in the five games he took losses in.
Since he was sent into the bullpen, Wood has pitched 14 innings and has given up eight runs, leading to a loss in the Braves’ most recent game against the Seattle Mariners.
As the Braves have struggled over the past few weeks, one of their problems has been spotty starting pitching from guys like Gavin Floyd and Aaron Harang. Even Ervin Santana has struggled during some of his starts. As a manager, even though the pitchers accustomed to their routine, Fredi Gonzalez needs to really think about giving some of his older pitchers (Floyd and Harang) a little bit of a break and go with a six-man rotation for maybe a turn or two, and get Wood more starts as the season goes on.
Everyone knows what the veteran pitchers for the Braves are going to bring. If Gonzalez placed the young lefty back into the rotation, he’d bring the deception and excitement that the Braves are truly lacking at the moment. Granted, the team is probably trying to save his 23-year-old arm and keep him healthy for as long as possible, but when you are approaching .500 and doing it going backwards, something needs to happen before the bottom falls out of this ship.