Twins prospect Byron Buxton missed the first two-plus months of the season following a spring training wrist injury and missed the final two weeks of the season following a concussion suffered during a gruesome-looking outfield collision.
But the good news is that the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball is now healthy enough that the Twins have chosen the 20-year-old center fielder to participate in the Arizona Fall League.
Buxton hasn’t actually resumed baseball activities yet after the concussion, so he’ll need to avoid setbacks before the AFL becomes a reality, but hopefully he can be symptom-free while recouping some of the at-bats he lost during the regular season.
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.”