Wood Is Out with Shoulder Inflammation

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers placed left-handed starter Alex Wood with shoulder inflammation on the 15-day Injured List.

Coming out of summer camp, the Dodgers were healthy. Less than a week ago, the Dodgers had no injuries.

Now the Dodgers have two left-handed starters on Injured List. Clayton Kershaw could not start on Opening Day because he had a stiff back. In the past, Kershaw had back problems so that the Dodgers erred on the side of caution. After an MRI returned without any issues, Kershaw began working on returning to the active roster. If he does not have a setback, Kershaw probably will return to the Dodger starting rotation in Arizona.

Wood returned to the Dodgers after a miserable season with the Cincinnati Reds. He had back problems limiting him to seven starts with the Reds. During the off-season, Wood worked hard to regain his All-Star form.

In spring training and summer camp, Wood looked good with his ability to control and change speed. He should be able the third-best Dodger starter. With left-handed starter David Price opting out, the Dodgers needed Wood to be a good starter.

Saturday afternoon against the San Francisco Giants, Wood did not look like himself in the three innings. He could not get ahead of the hitter. His control problems led to his loss. His limited velocity did not allow him to change speeds effectively. During that outing, Wood looked like a Minor-League pitcher trying to make the Major Leagues.

Shoulder inflammation can linger for a long time, and with 56 games remaining, Wood does not have the ordinary luxury of time to recover. The Dodgers have many other pitchers who can start. Tony Gonsolin is a top candidate to be placed in the rotation until either Kershaw or Wood returns.

Many baseball-knowledgeable people expected many injuries to pitchers because of the shortened summer camp. The Dodgers have lost two starters, but the Houston Astros have lost their three-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander and two other relievers. The quality of pitching might be diminished this season, leading to a more exciting offense.

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