Dodgers News: Alex Wood Expects To Be Part Of Playoff Starting Rotation
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

What once seemed relatively clear is now muddied. Prior to Tuesday’s game with the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts refused to commit to Alex Wood being included in the club’s playoff rotation.

It’s without saying Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish and Rich Hill are locks. Wood was one of the Dodgers’ six All-Stars this season, yet he may now be in a competition with Hyun-Jin Ryu. That’s despite Ryu having missed all of 2015 and only making one start in 2016 due to injuries.

“What do you think?” Wood responded when asked if had expectations of starting during the National League Division Series.

“It’s out of my control but I expect to start. I’ve been pretty good all year. I think guys in this clubhouse trust me with the ball in my hand.”

Wood said the Dodgers had not informed pitchers of their role for the postseason. In some regard, this is a familiar position for the brazen 26-year-old.

In Spring Training, Wood said he warranted a spot in the rotation. He quickly received an opportunity to contribute in that role as Hill landed on the disabled list in April due to more trouble with blisters.

Wood proceeded to become the first Dodgers starting pitcher to open a season 10-0 since Don Newcombe did so in 1955. Amid reports and calls for the Dodgers to acquire a prominent starting pitcher at the non-waiver trade deadline, he issued a challenge to find a No. 2 starter who’d had a better first half.

Although he’s now 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA this season, there’s at least a conversation over potential role because of Wood’s success pitching out of the bullpen and his dip in effectiveness during the second half.

Since the All-Star break, the southpaw is 4-3 in 12 starts, with a 3.89 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and is averaging 6.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Within that, however, is a 2-0 record and 2.00 ERA in his last three starts. Also to be considered is a second stint on the disabled list due to left SC joint inflammation.

Wood went 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 10.8 strikeouts per nine in 15 games (13 starts) in the first half.

While Wood expressed a desire to start, he admitted to not being up to par against the Padres. “I just didn’t think my stuff was very good tonight, honestly,” Wood said. “All around, I feel fine and solid with where I’m at. It just wasn’t my best.”