Alex Wood Has Shoulder Inflammation, Injury Lands Dodgers SP on DL

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2017

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood throws against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Tuesday that pitcher Alex Wood has been placed on the disabled list due to a shoulder injury. Brock Stewart was recalled from Triple-A. 

According to ESPN.com, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wood is dealing with "inflammation in the sternoclavicular joint in the front of his pitching shoulder," which is an issue that landed him on the DL in May.

Any extended absence could be a devastating blow to the Dodgers considering how well the left-hander has fared this season.

Wood is in the midst of by far the best year of his career, posting a 14-1 record, 2.41 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 127 strikeouts in 123.1 innings in 22 appearances with 20 starts.

This was a major leap for a player who had never been more than a mid-rotation starter in the majors. Injuries held him to just 14 games last season where he posted a 3.73 ERA and 1-4 record. His entire career entering 2017 including just a 27-30 record and 3.35 ERA, never reaching 200 innings in a season.

However, he came through with an All-Star performance throughout the year to help lead the Dodgers to the best record in baseball.

Possibly losing a pitcher of Wood's caliber is exacerbated by the fact ace Clayton Kershaw remains on the DL with a back injury. However, he is scheduled for a rehab start Saturday before returning to the rotation, per MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.

Another top-end pitcher in Yu Darvish is also on the DL with a back injury of his own. That leaves the Dodgers with Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jun Ryu needing to carry most of the load in the rotation.

While potentially losing Wood is disconcerting, the Dodgers can afford to play it safe since they are far and away baseball's best team with an 88-35 record.