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Braves activate Jordan Walden, send Alex Wood to Triple-A to prep as a starter

Jun 10, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

Alex Wood Alex Wood

Alex Wood has split his first two seasons between the Braves’ bullpen and rotation, making 18 starts and 31 relief appearances. And he’s been very good, posting a 3.26 ERA and 140 strikeouts in 138 innings overall.

Which is why today’s move to demote him to Triple-A looks surprising, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that it’s likely being done as part of a plan to stretch the 23-year-old left-hander out to return to Atlanta as a full-time starter.

Wood hasn’t started a game since May 4 and has thrown more than 40 pitches just once during that bullpen-only period, and the Braves decided this was the easiest way to get him ready to throw 90-100 pitches on a regular basis again.

In a corresponding move the Braves activated reliever Jordan Walden from the disabled list, where he spent a month with a strained hamstring.

  1. drewsylvania - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Never should have sent him to the pen in the first place.

  2. renaado - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Hopefully Wood can find his groove back at triple-A, guy’s still young and room for improvements is definitely a possibility. Wish him the best there.

    • lyon810 - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      He doesn’t need to improve, he was easily one of their best arms to start the season and for some reason he was odd man out when Gavin Floyd was ready to come back. He just needs to quickly build up arm strength.

      • renaado - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Yeah, but ever since his struggles late in the season and movin him back at pen shows us he’s still ineffective. At starter in the early days of the season he posted a 1.20 plus era but ever since that blowout loss against the Marlins shows us he still need some improvements, guys haven’t seen this guy yet cause he’s still new in the show but later on that scouting report showed what it’s worth, ever since he was moved at the pen he has an era just under 2.50 but later on, clearly showed some struggles.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    But who goes? Maybe they can polish up Harang’s YTD stats and flip him for something useful for the future? Some GM will bite…

    • tuberippin - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      It’ll be Floyd or Harang. Whoever regresses to their respective career levels first.

  4. gmagic9044 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    I’ve never quite understood why a 6 man rotation isn’t considered, not just by the Braves, but in general.

    In the Braves case, Teheran is still young, Minor and Floyd are coming off injuries, Harang is probably more effective the less he is used.

    A rotation of:
    Teheran
    Minor
    Floyd
    Santana
    Harang
    Wood

    This would save the arms of both Teheran and Wood, while providing in-season rest for the one and done playoff game. None of those 6 are aces (though Teheran is reaching for that ceiling) but none of them are dumpster fires. IMO since 5 of the 6 are essentially interchangeable this season, why not use them all and let the chips fall where they may?

    • mrwillie - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      Because it would totally screw with people’s fantasy baseba…..never mind that’s football I was thinking of.

    • Tim OShenko - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:52 PM

      The one drawback I see to this kind of plan would be its effect on the overall roster. Unless you also restructure the bullpen (which may not be a bad idea), you give up another bench spot. That’s one less defensive substitution or effective pinch hitter to call on.

      • gmagic9044 - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        I can see that, but most rosters consist of a ‘long’ reliever of some sort who isn’t used unless it’s a blow out in one direction or the other. I would also postulate that a 6 man rotation may actually lessen the strain of the bullpen for a number of reasons.

        Probably would never happen, but I think is a good thought experiment if nothing else.

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