Late last night, several hours after an uninspiring 3-0 loss for the Braves at the hands of the Blue Jays, Tom Hart broke the news on Twitter that Atlanta would be calling up Alex Wood to make his major-league debut. Shortly thereafter, Mark Bowman confirmed that Wood would be coming up to join the Braves bullpen.
This is a move that, according to Bowman, Fredi Gonzalez had been requesting for a long time, ever since he saw Wood pitch in spring training. Wood has spent all year at AA Mississippi in a starter's role, and as recently as last week, Frank Wren had mentioned not wanting to move him from that role. It's unclear what exactly has changed since then, but we should know more when the team makes an official release.
It's also unclear of yet how long he'll be up for. After Atlanta's pen threw seven innings last night, this could just be temporary reinforcement. Or it could be a long-term stay with the team ostensibly in dire need of another shutdown lefty/set-up man. A third possibility is that he could be moved into the rotation if Kris Medlen has to miss any starts.
There's no word yet on the corresponding roster move. Unless someone has to hit the DL, I would imagine that David Carpenter or Reed Johnson are the primary candidates to be moved, with Gerald Laird or Juan Francisco being less-likely alternatives. We'll keep you up to date as soon as we hear anything.
Wood has arguably been Atlanta's best pitcher in the minors this year. In 10 starts, the young lefty has thrown 57 innings, allowing only 41 hits and 8 earned runs. He has walked 15 and struck out 57. Even more impressive are some of his rate stats. Not only is he striking out a batter an inning, but he also sports a groundout/flyout ratio of 1.63. He has held opponents to a .195 batting average, and has allowed only one home run in 57 innings.