With the Detroit Tigers signing veteran Travis Wood, the competition for the fifth starting spot just got a little deeper.
The Detroit Tigers signed Travis Wood to a minor-league deal Monday. The 2013 All-Star and 2016 World Series Champion will receive a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Wood turns 31 in just over a week.
The left-hander was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft. Wood owns a career 4.26 ERA over 994 innings pitched. He has appeared in 298 games with five teams. His best work was with the Chicago Cubs. In fact, he went 32-42 with a 3.94 ERA, with 98 starts over five seasons. Wood moved to the bullpen, and his best season was 2016, when he went 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA over 77 relief appearances. It is worth noting that Wood’s pitching coach in Chicago was Chris Bosio, who currently serves as Detroit’s pitching coach.
Wood dropped off in 2017, when his ERA jumped to 6.80 with two teams; Kansas City and San Diego. He went 4-7 overall, and allowed 118 hits, 71 earned runs, and 19 homers.
If he produces like he did in 2016, Wood will be a great asset to the team, and will be a mentor to younger players. Of course, like his teammate Mike Fiers, Detroit is hoping Wood can rebound in 2018.
Wood will likely compete for a spot in the rotation with Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, Ryan Carpenter, and Alex Wilson. If Wood has a good spring, he’ll most likely pitch out of the bullpen, where he’s had more success over recent years. If he does start the season in Triple-A, Wood will give depth to the pitching staff.
Pitchers and Catchers report for Spring Training Tuesday, February 13th. The rest of the team reports Sunday, February 18th.