Fredi Gonzalez and the Atlanta Braves have made some “interesting” decisions with regard to their starting rotation in recent days, and that trend continued on Wednesday afternoon. Gonzalez announced that young left-hander Alex Wood would remain in the bullpen this week, and as a result, Atlanta has been forced to tinker with its immediate rotation.
#Braves have tweaked rotation for this weekend in St Louis. Alex Wood will remain in bullpen. Santana Friday, Harang Saturday, Floyd Sunday
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) May 14, 2014
Less than a week ago, the Braves announced that Wood would be moving to the bullpen, but in the same breath (or just a few moments later), Gonzalez stated that he would be starting on Saturday against the Cardinals. This was seen as an incredibly odd move, and whether or not this was the plan all along, the team has changed Wood’s role for the foreseeable future.
At this point, I am on record in suggesting that yanking Wood from role to role is a bad idea, but if the Braves are insistent on saving innings on his arm by leaving him in the bullpen, it is better to do that wholeheartedly. As noted by Kevin McAlpin above, Atlanta will go back to a 5-man rotation over the weekend, and all that is up in the air at this point is how long Wood will remain in the bullpen.
The debate will rage on surrounding Wood’s best use, but one thing is certain in that the best five starting pitchers on the Atlanta Braves roster do not currently make up their starting rotation.