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Notes: Wood sharp early; May, Nelson laid up

@kengurnick
February 18, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Despite missing most of last season with a back injury, Alex Wood threw live batting practice on Tuesday. He wasn’t eased into the fray. “I faced Mookie [Betts], [Cody] Bellinger and [Corey] Seager -- welcome back,” Wood said with a laugh.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Despite missing most of last season with a back injury, Alex Wood threw live batting practice on Tuesday. He wasn’t eased into the fray.

“I faced Mookie [Betts], [Cody] Bellinger and [Corey] Seager -- welcome back,” Wood said with a laugh.

“Whoever set that up clearly doesn’t like Alex Wood,” said president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

Facing hitters this early in camp is just another sign that Wood is fit enough to win back a starting rotation spot, which is why the 29-year-old left-hander signed a free-agent contract to return to the Dodgers in the first place.

“I wouldn’t have come back here if I wasn’t in the rotation,” said Wood. “I love these guys and this organization. When I saw that was my role, I hit the ground running. We wouldn’t have rekindled this relationship if we weren’t on the same page. I’m excited, I feel great and I honestly can’t wait to contribute to help win as many games as possible.

“I had eight teams that were in on me and those teams came to watch me throw, and I think I surprised them.”

Wood is back to using both his windup and stretch delivery, all incorporated in the tweaks he made with input from Driveline Baseball.

“I pitched good in ’18, but my stuff then was nothing compared to what it is now,” he said. “My breaking ball is really good now. Ready to get going.”

Noteworthy
• Right-handers Dustin May (left side tightness) and Jimmy Nelson (groin, lower back stiffness) missed another day of throwing. May said he expects to resume shortly.

• Outfielder Terrance Gore, signed on Monday, worked out on Tuesday. A speedster, Gore is being considered as a game-changing basestealer for the expansion of rosters to 26.

“With our front office and having that niche player that can impact the game off the bench, potentially defensively, is a conversation. And to bring a player like that in is good in the clubhouse and could make sense,” said manager Dave Roberts. “He's got to play defense, but certainly to come in and pinch-run and impact the game like that in a plus or minus one-run game or a tie ballgame, you’ve got to practice that, too. To his credit, he's done that.”

Gore, who signed a Minor League contract, has played only 100 Major League games in six seasons, with 40 steals, but also a .224 batting average.

David Price threw a bullpen session Tuesday. The left-hander appears to be on a normal schedule despite wrist surgery last September.

• Non-roster invitee Tyler White, who played with the Dodgers last season but also played briefly on the 2017 Houston Astros, said of the Astros’ sign stealing: “It was wrong.” White was designated for assignment with the acquisitions of Betts and Price and then outrighted to the Minors when he cleared waivers. He is looking to win a bench job as a right-handed pinch-hitter.

He also said a change in medication for a thyroid condition over the offseason has improved his metabolism, led to welcome weight loss and made for more effective workouts.

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