Craig Gentry, whom the A’s acquired from the Rangers for prospect Michael Choice this offseason, will be out for at least 10 days with a strained lower back.
Manager Bob Melvin expressed some optimism that Gentry will have time to be ready for Opening Day, but noted that right now the speedy outfielder “is not where the training staff would like to see him be in terms of strength.”
Gentry is expected to fill a part-time role for Oakland after logging 287 and 269 plate appearances for the Rangers during the past two seasons.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”