Travis Wood credits 2016 success to a lucky penguin given to him by his son
Travis Wood has been a valuable part of the Cubs' pitching staff this season. The lefty has appeared in 27 games, logged 22 innings of work and posted a 0.95 WHIP out of the bullpen, going 3-0 in that span.
He's been equally confounding to both right-handed hitters (who hit just .158/.238/.316 against him) and lefties (.171/.256/.429), proving himself a useful commodity out of Joe Maddon's bullpen.
Prior to last season, he was primarily a starter but transitioned to the bullpen for 2015 and this year, where he's clearly excelling. Just last week, he bailed out the bullpen with four perfect innings of relief after Jason Hammel left early:
What has fueled Wood's career progression to where he is now? As he explained to CSN Chicago's Kelly Crull during the Cubs' 3-2 loss to the D-backs on Sunday, he has a lucky charm in his arsenal this year: A stuffed penguin given to him by his son during Spring Training.
Crull mentioned that Wood takes the penguin "everywhere," including road trips … so don't expect that to change anytime soon.