It may have taken a few days longer than expected, but Alex Wood got his first call to the All-Star Game.
Passed over thanks in part to the National League filling out its roster with six relievers among the 12 pitchers to satisfy the one-player-per-team quota, Wood found himself on the outside looking in when initial rosters were announced.
But on Friday, Wood was named as an All-Star, replacing teammate Clayton Kershaw, who was ineligible for the midsummer classic by starting for the Dodgers on Sunday.
This is the first All-Star Game for Wood, joined by teammates Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner in the first-time crew.
Wood started the year in the bullpen but quickly pitched his way into the rotation. He is 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA and 97 strikeouts, with a strikeout rate (30.9%) roughly the same as Clayton Kershaw (31.4%). Among major league pitchers with at least 50 innings, Wood ranks first in FIP (2.03) and xFIP (2.51), second in ERA (1.67), sixth in fWAR (3.2) and 17th in rWAR (2.9) — eighth in the NL in the latter.
But with just 80⅔ innings at the break, 8⅓ shy of qualifying for the leaderboards, Wood was out of sight, out of mind for many.
“I started in the bullpen so I didn’t have as many innings as a lot of guys. It makes you wonder at what point does quality trump quantity to some extent,” Wood said on Friday. “I guess I was right on that line.”
In Wood and Kershaw, the Dodgers have two All-Star starting pitchers for just the fourth time in 36 years, joining Ramon Martinez and Mike Morgan (1991), and Kershaw and Zack Greinke (2014, 2015).