The Dodgers will activate Alex Wood before Tuesday’s game against the Diamondbacks, though in a relief role. Wood takes the roster spot of Ross Stripling, who was traded Monday to the Blue Jays for two players to be named later.
Wood missed over five weeks with left shoulder inflammation after starting the Dodgers’ third game of the season, on July 25. His longest outing in a simulated game during rehab was three innings. With only four weeks left in the regular season, Wood wasn’t built up enough to join the starting rotation.
“You’re looking at how much time we do have to build up to the five or six [innings] and 90 [pitches], that number would be hard to get to,” manager Dave Roberts said on a conference call Tuesday. “In talking to Alex, just understanding the roster and his upside to potentially help us on the active roster was going to be in the bullpen, he totally got it and he’s all on board.”
Roberts said Wood’s role in the bullpen is to be determined, but that he can pitch anywhere from one to three innings and get both left- and right-handed hitters out.
“I do know he feels heathy now,” Roberts said. “The reports that I got, the velocity is right around 90-92 mph, sitting 91. As long as he’s there, executing pitches and spinning the baseball with his change, then he can get major league hitters out.”
With Stripling traded and Wood in the bullpen, the Dodgers will now use a five-man rotation, including Tony Gonsolin, who has allowed only one run in his four spot starts. Walker Buehler, who missed a start last week with a blister on his right hand, will be activated to start Wednesday, Roberts said. That pushes Clayton Kershaw back to Thursday, giving him extra rest.
Coincidentally or not, it also lines up those two in the same order as last year’s playoffs.
Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz opted out of the 2020 season earlier in the year, and was approved by Major League Baseball to return to the team this week, per Craig Mish of SportsGrid. While that opens up the door for a potential David Price return to the Dodgers rotation with similar commissioner approval, it doesn’t sound like that is in the cards.
“I think anything’s possible,” Roberts said. “But I had different texts, threads messages with David and nothing like that came up.”
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Monday that when Price opted out at the start of summer camp in July, both agreed there was no downside to continue throwing. But though Price and Friedman have communicated often since then, a return to play this season hasn’t been discussed.
“I’ve talked to him a decent amount and texted during games,” Friedman said. “We’ve talked about our games and our players and some of his observations, but that has not come up.”
Monday was a busy trade deadline for Arizona, dealing four players from their active roster in separate trades. To replenish their active roster, they called up utility man Josh Rojas as well as pitchers Artie Lewicki, Joe Mantiply, and Keury Mella from the club’s alternate training site.
Also notable is that for this road trip, one of the Diamondbacks on their taxi squad is old friend Trayce Thompson, who is in Arizona’s 60-man player pool on a minor league deal.
Time: 6:40 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA