GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitchers Alex Wood and Walker Buehler missed Thursday's workouts with health issues the team believes are minor.
Wood had his bullpen session pushed back one day after "tweaking" his right ankle during warmups. Buehler needed additional medical testing as part of his physical exam, but manager Dave Roberts said he was expected to miss only one day and that the issue is not arm related. Buehler said he played catch and worked out before his appointment and felt fine.
Wood, coming off an All-Star season, downplayed the setback and enthusiastically explained that a dietary overhaul could pay off in even better performance than 2017, when he went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA.
"I've made big changes in my diet for the whole offseason," Wood said. "I'm 90 to 92 percent gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free since the middle of October, and my body has been feeling a lot better. A lot more guys than you would guess are looking into those things with blood testing to see what you are averse to. I was off the charts on gluten and wheat. Taking those out for the most part has really helped the way I feel."
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Wood said he's confident the nagging sternum irritation that put him on the disabled list twice is fully healed.
"It lingered because I should have rested longer, but we managed it," Wood said. "It probably affected me down the stretch, subconsciously trying to protect it and got out of sync a little bit. Pair that with how my body felt the last two months, and I think a lot of that was nutrition. I've noticed a huge difference just from the change, my recovery and how my body feels day to day. It's actually been cool to see how much impact that has."
A year ago, coming off elbow surgery that interrupted his 2015 season, Wood lost a spring competition to Brandon McCarthy for a starter spot and began the '17 season in the bullpen. He comes into this camp locked into the rotation.
"I've worked really hard to feel good body-wise and mechanically," Wood said. "I feel I'm ahead of schedule the way the ball's coming out. I just worry about me and not the external things. Last year, we had even more guys, with Brandon and [Scott Kazmir], guys making good money. It all goes into it. I like to think I've solidified myself more than I already had in the past. It's nice to come in and know for the most part it's my job."
Buehler is the Dodgers' top prospect per MLB Pipeline and, although not expected to start the season in the Major Leagues, figures to play a significant role later in the season.