Dodgers News: Alex Wood Nearing Return As Left-Handed Specialist
Recap: Alex Wood, Kenley Jansen Pitch Dodgers To Win Over Diamondbacks
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Things are looking up for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the currently hold a season-high four game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West with just under a month to play in the regular season.

Additionally, the starting rotation, which has dealt with injury after injury all season, will soon add a significant reinforcement in Clayton Kershaw. The left-handed ace is is set to start Friday against the Miami Marlins.

What’s more, Scott Kazmir may not be far behind as he is scheduled to make a rehab start Wednesday with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Alex Wood is another starter who is closing in on a return, though Dodgers manger Dave Roberts reiterated it will come in a different role.

“Our goal and expectation is to get him in the ‘pen to be a short, left-handed reliever,” Roberts said. “We expect Woody to help us this season in that capacity.”

Wood threw a bullpen session on Monday and is on track to throw a simulated game this week. That puts him in line to return within two weeks.

Wood underwent an arthroscopic debridement on his left elbow July 20 and was projected to miss eight weeks. He was on the disabled list at the time due to a posterior impingement in the elbow.

Surgery eliminated any thought of the southpaw returning in his role as a starter. “With the calendar, there was no chance of that. The next best scenario was to get him out of the ‘pen,” Roberts explained.

“In this situation as long as he’s healthy, there’s really no build up. It’s a matter of getting a hitter or two out. Maybe going an inning at the most. It’s just a short, lefty out of the ‘pen specialist.”

Wood has not pitched since the end of May. In 10 starts this season he is 1-4 with a 3.99 ERA, 3.28 FIP and 1.31 WHIP. In Wood’s four-year career, left-handers have batted .248/.297/.330 against him, compared to righties who have hit .262/.323/.383.