Wood called up among Texas moves, debuts

May 16th, 2021

The Rangers called up right-handed pitcher on Saturday, adding another pitching option out of the bullpen and a possible fifth starter with still on the injured list.

Two subsequent roster moves were made to accommodate Wood on the 40-man roster: lefty was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock for the second time this season and catcher was designated for assignment.

Wood entered Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Astros in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs, and promptly got Yuli Gurriel to fly out. But in the seventh, Wood allowed a two-run homer to Kyle Tucker. He finished with two runs and two hits allowed while striking out one in 1 1/3 innings.

Wood entered with a career 3.32 ERA over 66 games and 10 starts between Tampa Bay (2017-19) and Cleveland (2019). He last made an MLB appearance Sept. 28, 2019, with Cleveland, when he went two-thirds of an inning, allowing one hit and one run. He spent all of 2020 at Cleveland’s alternate training site.

Manager Chris Woodward said before Saturday's game that he’s not worried about Wood’s lack of recent big league innings.

“I think what we saw in spring and just talking to this guy, he was pretty comfortable,” Woodward said. “He's had some success in the big leagues. He's not a guy that gets too rattled about things. He's going to do his thing and go out and use his pitches well, throw strikes. He’s gonna throw that fastball at the top, use his own curveball and the cutter to attack hitters. That's what this guy does, and he doesn't seem to be bothered by a lot of it. He's just been dying to get back.”

Wood was one of the Rangers' most consistent pitchers in Spring Training, making 11 relief appearances and posting a 3.27 ERA and notching 17 strikeouts. Woodward said the coaching staff was impressed with him and considered putting him on the Opening Day roster.

Wood also adds another right-handed arm out of the bullpen. The Rangers currently only have two -- and -- along with closer .

“The way he's been throwing since Spring Training, sometimes in Spring Training obviously you take it with a grain of salt, because you don't know if it's going to show up, but you know he's been pitching well,” Woodward said. “The stuff is still there. He can pitch multiple innings too, so that's a huge plus for us.”

Woodward said they considered calling up Demarcus Evans, the club’s No. 27-ranked prospect, from Triple-A along with Wood. Evans made his MLB debut last season, pitching four games at one inning apiece. He’s only pitched three games at Round Rock this season, and Woodward said it shouldn’t be too long until he’s back with the big league club.