Needing to address their starting rotation, the Los Angeles Dodgers refrained from completing a midseason trade for an ace, and instead went the route of adding depth without dealing away any of their top prospects.
On July 31, the Dodgers acquired Alex Wood, among others, as part of a three-team, 13-player trade with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins.
The young left-hander was the antithesis to a Johnny Cueto or David Price, as Wood is under team control for multiple years.
Throughout his first month with the Dodgers, Wood was a poster child for inconsistency as he worked to grow familiar in a new setting with new teammates.
As far as a self-assessment goes, a player can often be their toughest critic. Such is the case with Wood, who referred to the 2015 season as the worst of his career, via Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider:
“I still had a pretty decent year, but for me, it wasn’t up to the standards that I’ve kind of set for myself. It was a good year, but it was the worst year I’ve had so far.” Wood said. “I was really, really good some outings, and then I had some bad outings. For me, I’ve always founds my success in the consistency of my performances.”
The 24 year old with an unorthodox delivery made three starts where he allowed one run or less, but also had three starts where he allowed four or more runs. Wood attributed the lack of consistency to his inability to fine tune his mechanics as the season wore on:
“It’s funny — the way I throw is a little different than your cookie-cutter guy, but at the same time, I’ve never really had to think about my mechanics,” Wood said. “I’ve never got into bad habits that I couldn’t really take care of during the season. That was really a first for me during this past season.”
Wood’s remarks are akin to the struggles Joc Pederson faced after the All-Star break. The rookie attempted to make adjustments on the fly, though largely to no avail. Like Wood, Pederson is hopeful rectify those issues during the offseason.
Wood finished the season 12-12 with a 3.54 ERA, 98 ERA+, 3.69 FIP and 1.36 WHIP. He saw a decline in his strikeout rate, from 8.9 per nine innings in 2014 to 6.6 per nine innings last season.
In 12 starts with the Dodgers, Wood went 5-6 with a 4.35 ERA, 4.10 FIP, 1.23 WHIP and strikeout rate of 6.3 per nine innings.