Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Dodgers News

Roberts: Wood to get at least one more start

Left-hander pitching well enough that rotation fate may not hinge on Hill's health
April 27, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Wood will make another start for the Dodgers next week and manager Dave Roberts indicated that the lefty might remain in the rotation even after Rich Hill returns from the disabled list."I think Alex has done everything he can to warrant a case to continue to

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Wood will make another start for the Dodgers next week and manager Dave Roberts indicated that the lefty might remain in the rotation even after Rich Hill returns from the disabled list.
"I think Alex has done everything he can to warrant a case to continue to be in the rotation," Roberts said on Thursday in the wake of Wood's one-hitter over six scoreless innings Wednesday night, when the bullpen let a 3-0 lead get away in the Dodgers' eventual 4-3 loss to the Giants.
Coming off last year's elbow clean-up surgery, Wood was relegated to the bullpen coming out of Spring Training because the Dodgers believed they had enough starting pitchers. But with Hill's ongoing blister problem -- as well as injuries to Scott Kazmir and Brock Stewart and the reining in of 20-year-old Julio Urias -- Wood has become Hill's designated replacement.
Although Hill's blister hasn't stopped him from throwing almost daily, management isn't sure when -- or even if -- Hill can return to the starting rotation. It's possible that the skin on the middle finger of his throwing hand can't take the punishment of a 100-pitch outing.
"Rich's health is a big factor," said Roberts. "I can't say with 100 percent confidence when Rich will be back as a starter. There is talk about Rich potentially coming back sooner in a role out of the 'pen and that would leave an opportunity for Woody -- who has pitched really well -- to stay in the rotation. But I don't want to get ahead of myself, other than to say Woody will make another start."
In addition to Hill's uncertain status, Kenta Maeda has struggled all month and faces a critical start Friday night against the Phillies. Roberts said Maeda needs to be effective for the pitcher's confidence, but also said "we'll take a look at things" after the game "and see what's best for all of us."
Wood, meanwhile, has been effective starting and relieving this year. He has a 3.14 ERA as a starter and hasn't allowed a run in 5 1/3 innings of relief for an overall ERA of 2.29 and a WHIP of 0.97.
• Roberts said he expects reliever Grant Dayton to be activated from the disabled list on Friday.
• In another roster move, pitcher Joe Gunkel was claimed off waivers by Miami. Gunkel had been designated for assignment on Tuesday to create room on the roster for the promotion of Cody Bellinger.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.