Dodgers Spring Training: Alex Wood Confident He Will Be Part Of Opening Day Starting Rotation Despite Lack Of Assurances
Alex Wood, 2020 Spring Training
Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers made several additions to their starting rotation over the offseason, most notably acquiring 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner and five-time All-Star David Price from the Boston Red Sox in a trade that also netted 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts.

Before that blockbuster came to fruition, the Dodgers had taken fliers on a couple of intriguing arms in free agency. Jimmy Nelson and Alex Wood were each signed to one-year contracts with the expectation that they would compete for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

For Wood, it marked a return to the Dodgers just 13 months after he was traded by the organization in a salary-motivated deal with the Cincinnati Reds.

Wood is coming off an injury-shortened 2019 campaign, but after working with Driveline Baseball this offseason, feels confident he can return to his previous All-Star form.

Wood has MLB experience as both a starter and reliever, but he is expected to receive the bulk of his opportunities in the rotation this season. “We signed Alex to be a starter,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged. “That’s where we want his mindset to be anyway.”

While Wood is one of five candidates vying for the final spot in the Dodgers’ rotation, the belief is that he has the upper hand. “Guys are still going out there and there’s always competition,” Roberts said.

“Whatever we have on whatever date this is, guys still have to go out there and compete. Whether it’s against themselves or a spot, whatever it might be. We have a lot of guys we view as Major League starters. That’s sort of where we’re at right now.”

Despite not yet receiving any assurances that he will be part of the Dodgers’ Opening Day rotation, Wood revealed that he returned to the organization with the expectation of starting. “That’s a product that I’ll be in the rotation,” Wood said of his confidence.

“I love these guys and I love this place, but I wouldn’t have taken the risk of coming back without knowing that when Opening Day comes around, I wouldn’t be in the starting rotation.

“I don’t know the semantics of everything else or what’s been said. I came back here knowing I’m going to be in the rotation and we’re going to go from there. Once the season starts, things can change. You have to perform, but I came back here fully cemented in the rotation.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our live shows, and more!