Wood hoping to start Monday against Cubs

May 28th, 2016

NEW YORK -- If not for Alex Wood, top prospectJulio Urias would have still been in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

Wood told reporters he wasn't the story on Friday, but reporters reminded him he was still a story. Irritation in his left triceps, resulting from a swing and miss two starts back, set in motion the decision to slide the 19-year-old Urias into Wood's start against the Mets.

Wood, however, said he could have pitched Friday despite the discomfort, the irritation is improving daily and he's confident he will start Monday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

"I've been starting to roll pretty good and I want to stay on schedule, but this is a good compromise," said Wood, who struck out 13 Padres despite the discomfort in his last start. "The mature side of me, the adult side of me, said take an extra day so it won't be an ongoing thing. The smart choice is to knock it out and it won't be an issue. The question wasn't whether I could throw today, but if I throw, is it going to continue to give me issues?"

Wood, a left-handed pitcher who bats right-handed, called the injury a "mini-hyperextension." He said he plans a "touch-and-feel" bullpen session on Saturday, when he will inform the club whether he can pitch Monday.

If he can't, the likely substitute is Mike Bolsinger, who pitched 5 2/3 innings on Tuesday night. Bolsinger would have thrown a bullpen session on Friday to prepare for Monday, but was told to save it and be on standby in the event the Dodgers needed a long reliever Friday night.

Wood was asked why his next start was pushed back three days instead of, say, two. He had a great answer.

"When you got [No.] 22 [Clayton Kershaw] going on Sunday," Wood said, "you kind of work around what he wants to do."

The Dodgers had already optioned Luis Avilan to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the 25-man roster for Urias, and on Friday they moved reliever Yimi Garcia from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to free a spot on the 40-man roster for Urias.

Manager Dave Roberts said Garcia, out since April 23 with a right biceps strain, still has not been able to throw a ball because of continued pain.