Through their first four Cactus League games, the only projected starter to take the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers was Clayton Kershaw on Sunday against the Seattle Mariners. Ross Stripling took the ball Saturday against the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers went into the spring with intention on easing the workload on several of their key contributors. Pitchers at this stage are just starting to get their feet wet, and in Alex Wood’s case, he was delayed some with his work.
He dealt with a minor ankle issue early in the spring, which pushed back Wood’s scheduled bullpen session. X-rays revealed only inflammation, and Wood was soon back on the mound.
He’s now scheduled to start Monday when the Dodgers face the Texas Rangers, per Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.:
Alex Wood starts Monday against Texas. Surprise!
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) February 25, 2018
As is the case with Clayton Kershaw on Sunday, Wood will likely throw just one inning in his first start. Moreover, he may look a little bit different doing it, as Wood recently decided to make the change to pitch only out of the stretch after having what he called an epiphany last September.
Wood is coming off a career year in which he went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA, 3.32 FIP and 1.06 WHIP while striking out 151 and walking 38 in 152.1 innings across 27 games (25 starts). He was named to the National League All-Star team for the first time in his career after starting off the season 11-0.
This spring is a little bit different for Wood compared to previous years as for the first time he is going into it with a guaranteed spot in the rotation as opposed to having to win a job.