The 2017 season marked a breakout campaign for Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw Alex Wood, who established himself as legitimate top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher.
In 152.1 innings across 25 starts (27 games), Wood pitched to a 2.72 ERA, 3.32 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 151 strikeouts to 38 walks. He tallied a career-high in wins (16) and accumulated 3.3 WAR (Baseball-Reference) on the year.
Among the many accolades for Wood last season include his first career selection to the National League All-Star team and a top-10 finish in Cy Young voting.
During an appearance on the Petros and Money Show on AM 570 L.A. Sports Radio, the 26-year-old explained how he plans to replicate his newfound success going forward:
“You have things that you take from every season that you want to keep incorporating in your offseason plan. And then you obviously have new things you want to work on and get better at. This offseason, a big part of it was just trying to get my body to feel good again after the long year. I’ve been working hard at that. And obviously, I feel like I had a big breakthrough last offseason, kind of having the answers to the test for myself in terms of what I need to do to be the player I want to be on a consistent basis. So, I’ve kind of gotten back to those things that I did last offseason, kind of tightened the mechanics back up, getting a good throwing program, and going from there.”
Wood logged over 150 innings last season for just the third time in his career, and the first time since being traded to the Dodgers in 2015.
After not getting an opportunity to pitch in the NL Division Series because of a sweep, he was featured in the Championship Series. Wood took the mound in Game 4 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field and allowed three runs over 4.2 innings, suffering the loss.
The 26-year-old found success in the World Series against the Houston Astros, where he posted a 1.17 ERA and 0.39 WHIP in two appearances (one start), yielding just one run over 7.2 innings of work.
Now entering his sixth Major League season, Wood could potentially see a workload increase in 2019. He figures to receive the bulk of his opportunities in the starting rotation, but could also spend some time in the bullpen later down the stretch — as was the case in the previous three seasons.