The Los Angeles Dodgers placed Alex Wood on the 10-day injured list due to shoulder inflammation and recalled Josh Sborz prior to Tuesday’s series opener against the Houston Astros. Wood joins Clayton Kershaw as the second Dodgers starting pitcher to land on the IL this season.
In Kershaw’s case, back stiffness prevented him from making a ninth career Opening Day start. Kershaw traveled with the team and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session at Minute Paid Park as he hopes to progress toward being activated this weekend.
As for Wood, he labored through his 2020 debut and lamented not pitching aggressively enough against a San Francisco Giants lineup that he credited for being tough on left-handers. “I kind of got away from my general plan of how aggressive I am,” Wood said after the loss.
“We threw too much soft stuff early. They had some good at-bats and ended up drawing three walks in those first two or three innings. Just overall getting away from what I do best, in terms of pounding the zone and attacking early. I thought that was the difference.”
Wood allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, and collected four strikeouts over three innings. The injury is particularly disappointing for the 29-year-old as he used the offseason to refine workouts and get into improved health.
“He’s done some things over the past winter, worked on pitch characteristics, mechanics, his body is in a good place,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before Wood’s start last week. “He’s throwing the baseball as well as I can recall.”
Sborz now gives the Dodgers another option in a bullpen that already had a surplus because of the 30-man rosters. Sborz made his MLB debut last season and went on to appear in seven games.
He was 0-1 with 8.00 ERA and seven strikeouts over nine innings. In five Minor League seasons across five different levels, Sborz is 24-20 with a 3.53 ERA and 370 strikeouts.
Roberts confident in Dodgers starters
While Dustin May filled in admirably for Kershaw on Opening Day, and Ross Stripling followed it with a stellar outing, starting pitching after that point got shaky for the Dodgers. It was a factor in the team settling for a four-game series split with the Giants.
Roberts nonetheless has expressed confidence in a starting staff that now is without not only Kershaw and Wood, but David Price as well when taking into account his decision to opt out of the 2020 season.
“Obviously, with Dustin stepping up and Ross throwing well, we’re expecting to get Clayton back some time soon. I think with every start Julio makes, Dustin makes, they’re continuing to get better,” Roberts said.
“Woody is a veteran pitcher, he’ll be fine. Our starting pitching depth, I’m really comfortable with it.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!