Last night saw the trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers pay off, at least for one game, as Yasiel Puig crushed a walk-off hit off of the wall in right-center field in extra innings to beat the Chicago Cubs. One of the other pieces in that deal between the Cincinnati Reds and Dodgers, Alex Wood, has yet to appear in a game for the Reds this season. And from the sounds of it, it’s going to be a while until he does.
John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer provided an update on the left-handed pitcher. Manager David Bell had this to say about Alex Wood:
There’s a pretty good chance he’s going to start a throwing program next week, it’s not 100 percent. We’ll see how he does between now and Monday. If everything goes well, then he’ll begin a throwing program early next week.
Fay makes some logical assumptions from there about the timeline for Alex Wood to be ready to pitch in the Major Leagues. For the lefty, he’s basically starting over at this point. If he’s just going to start a throwing program next week if things go well, you are likely looking at a stretch to believe he’ll be ready any sooner than the very beginning of July. That would be five weeks from the time he would start throwing. As noted by Fay, he’ll likely get a few rehab starts, too, which likely stretches that into July before he’d see time in Cincinnati.
Of course, all of that timeline is based on if things go well for Alex Wood’s back throughout that entire time. What this does seem to do is make it next to impossible for the Reds to trade Wood this season. Not that they necessarily would want to, but they’ll have to do a whole bunch of winning over the next two months to get to a point where they shouldn’t be approaching the trade deadline as sellers. As an impending free agent, Wood would be on the list of players a team in sell-mode should be looking to move. That seems off of the table now.
It could, however, open up a possible extension window for the Reds and Wood, if he pitches well upon his return and happens to like things in Cincinnati. It could give him a chance to hit free agency coming off of a season in which he didn’t miss more than half of it. Of course he could also just decide to go into free agency either way and roll the dice elsewhere in 2020 (or beyond if someone is willing to give him multiple years).
Where’s Jose Peraza?
As pointed out by Redleg Nation’s own Nick Kirby on twitter, Jose Peraza has started just one of the Cincinnati Reds five games from May 10th through the 15th. He came off of the bench on both May 10th and 11th. Then he started on May 12th, going 2-4. He didn’t play at all in the game on Tuesday against the Cubs. Wednesday he found himself out of the starting lineup once again – entering the game in the top of the 9th inning in a double-switch. The infielder has struggled at the plate this season, hitting just .205/.254/.287 this season in 40 games played. With Jose Iglesias clearly being the stronger defender at shortstop, and also clearly outhitting him this season, time at shortstop isn’t there. And while he’s the best defensive option at second base among the group of players there, his bat may be far-and-away the worst. With Derek Dietrich leading the team with an OPS of .977, he’s going to get a bulk of the playing time until his bat begins to cool off.
The original version of this article noted that Jose Peraza had started just one of the last five games. This was due to the authors idiocy – who somehow scheduled the post two days later than it was supposed to be published. It has been corrected.