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Alex Wood to the Bullpen

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Alex Wood to the Bullpen

Scott Cunningham

After yesterday's division clinching win, Fredi Gonzalez stated to a number of reporters that the Braves will now be using Alex Wood out of the bullpen.

It did seem like Wood was somewhat hitting a wall, as he threw his worst two starts back-to-back before his 4.2 inning outing against Washington (the one where he got thrown out), so moving him into the bullpen isn't the absolute worst thing that could happen. Combine his slowing performance in the rotation, Luis Avilan and Scott Downs not having the most effective Septembers, and the fact that Alex Wood was absolutely dynamite in the bullpen earlier this year, and you can understand why the Braves made this move.

It is a tough one though, as the Braves do not really have a fourth starter right now. Paul Maholm just is not good. The thought of him starting a playoff game is worrisome, no doubt. The top three of the rotation is very strong in Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, and Kris Medlen. Medlen and Teheran have looked great recently while Minor has struggled a bit. Those three will be the cogs that the Braves rely on in the playoffs. More-or-less, the Braves will go as they go.

The playoff rotation has yet to be announced, but adding Wood to the bullpen at least theoretically can shorten games. I would probably be more comfortable if I hear that the Braves opt to go to a three man rotation than throw Maholm out there, especially if Wood is going to be relied upon to throw multiple innings if need be. This is probably not how I would have done it, moving Wood to the bullpen, but I understand it and do think he can be very effective in the playoffs in that role if utilized properly.