LOS ANGELES – Yay – depth?
The apple of the front office’s eye, the Dodgers’ roster strength might be hard for fans to wrap their arms around. But Alex Wood and Chris Taylor are doing a pretty good job of putting a face on that depth.
Cementing his place in the seven-man do-si-do that is the Dodgers’ overstuffed starting rotation, Wood took a shutout into the eighth inning as the Dodgers beat the Miami Marlins, 7-2, Friday night.
The round-trip ticket to the bullpen Wood once seemed to be carrying has expired during a five-start stretch that has seen him go 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 29-1/3 innings. Wood has not allowed a run during four of those five starts or any of his past 20-1/3 innings.
He allowed six hits and walked two before being removed with one out in the eighth when the Marlins got a runner past first base against him for the first time since a second-inning double by J.T. Riddle.
Wood’s performance of late has been so good Braves GM John Coppolella called the June 2015 trade that sent Wood (along with Luis Avilan) to the Dodgers for a package of players headlined by Hector Olivera, none of whom are still in the Braves’ organization, “terrible and that’s on me” in a Twitter Q-and-A earlier in the day Friday.
While Wood has pleasantly spoiled the Dodgers’ plans for him, Taylor has ridden to the rescue. Promoted from Triple-A when Logan Forsythe suffered a hairline fracture in a toe, Taylor has unexpectedly emerged as the Dodgers’ OPS leader. He will stick around when Forsythe returns next week, Justin Turner’s hamstring injury having created an opening at third base for Forsythe.
With a swing rebuilt over the winter, Taylor had three more hits in Friday’s win including his fifth home run in 78 at-bats. Taylor hit more than five home runs in an entire season just once in his first five professional seasons – he hit eight in 134 games combined between Class-A and Double-A in 2013.
As if that’s not enough…