Brandon Wood's struggles carry over to Triple-A

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Brandon Wood was placed on the disabled list last month in a move due partly to a hip injury and partly to the Angels wanting to send a player without a minor-league option to Triple-A. Wood is officially now “rehabbing” his injury at Triple-A and for the first time his big-league struggles are carrying over to the minors.
Wood has gone 6-for-33 (.182) with 11 strikeouts, zero walks, and zero extra-base hits in eight games at Triple-A, where he previously batted .290 with a .900 OPS in more than 300 games. Prior to the injury/demotion he was hitting .156 with a gruesome 36/2 K/BB ratio in 39 games for the Angels this season and .179 with a 110/9 K/BB ratio in 125 career games as a big leaguer.
He’s still just 25 years old, so there’s certainly time for Wood to salvage his career, but if he’s no longer crushing Triple-A pitching there’s really nothing to cling to in terms of optimism. It’ll be interesting to see what the Angels do once his rehab assignment is up in a couple weeks, because he’s clearly not deserving of an MLB roster spot at this point and they can’t leave him in the minors without first passing him through waivers.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.