It’s not very often that a player getting sent down to Triple-A is a good thing, but when the Atlanta Braves sent Alex Wood down, everyone should have known he was coming back to Atlanta as a starter. Having to make one last start in Gwinnett, Wood has been very good to this point while stretching his arm out over the past month.
While most people thought that Wood would make the team as a starting pitcher when the Braves made a trade of either Gavin Floyd or Aaron Harang, they may have just found their solution to getting him back to the major leagues. After a dominant performance against the Washington Nationals, Floyd was placed on the DL with a broken elbow.
Even though the team may have lost a valuable trade piece in order to get a reliever, personally, I believe the starting rotation is much better with Wood on the staff. As a starter, Wood was much better statistically. He averaged almost two more strikeouts to each walk as a starter (4.89) and allowed hitters to hit .260, compared to the .302 that he allowed out of the bullpen. Also, his 3.00 ERA as a starter is much better compared to the 4.70 that he gave the Braves out of the pen.
Even though the Braves are losing a good pitcher in Floyd, it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. The team didn’t need to waste Wood’s arm away in the bullpen for the next season or two, and even though it was an injury that is the reason he is being called up, it can turn out as a good thing for Atlanta. Let’s just hope they can still get bullpen help at some point — and soon!