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Phhhl
12-24-2010, 01:42 AM
I don't know about you guys, but I look at Travis Wood as a pivitol figure in the 2011 story of the NL Central. When you talk about left handed starters in this division, you are talking about Jaime Garcia, Wandy Rodriguez, Randy Wolfe... and... drum roll please... the wildcard, Travis Wood. Maybe a kid named Chapman, but that is for a later date than the Christmas Holidays...

Whenever this team that is so dear to our hearts has been great, they have had a tremendous left handed pitcher in the mix. I am talking about Don Gullet, Tom Browning, Johnny Vander Meer, Fred Norman, Jim O'Toole and/or Danny Jackson. I am talking about the type of magic only an exceptional lefty can bring to a championship season... the proverbial "wild" card that has won so many critical card games over the course of history.

As a fan, I am so impressed with Travis Wood. He looks like a roadie for Lynard Skynard and pitches like Lefty Grove. The near perfect game he pitched in Philly mid-season was the stuff of legend, and not just because it was nearly a perfect game. It was legendary because he allowed a lead off double in the bottom of the ninth to spoil his place in future documentaries, yet had the composure to pitch out of that jam and send the game to extra innings without letting that winning run score. Despite the fact we ultimately lost that game and got swept in the series, I thought that was a turning point in the 2010 season, just knowing that we had kids with this type of meddle in the Reds' bloodstream.

Last spring, I thought Mike Leake was light years ahead of Travis Wood, because of the hype and the draft standing, that there was literally nothing that Wood could do to make me excited. The one televised spring training game Wood pitched, I think he walked 10 hitters. But, sitting here today, I am more excited about what Travis can do to help this team repeat as NL Central Champs than any other player on the roster. I truly believe he can be THAT good. Cuteo, Arroyo and Bailey are exceptional right handed pitchers in the scope of things, but Travis Wood could easily be this team's Cliff Lee in 2011. I believe he can be that good. Agree or disagree?

Will M
12-24-2010, 02:50 AM
i like Wood a lot. it was quite a joy in the 2nd half of 2010 watching him pitch. who are the 4th & 5th starters for the Reds can be debated but i feel Wood should be a lock in the rotation after Cueto & Arroyo.

muddie
12-24-2010, 07:48 AM
Good post Santo Alcala. I believe Wood will be a solid part of the rotation this year and beyond. I was extremely disappointed when Leake was chosen ahead of Wood out of spring last year. In the end, I believe it was the best for Wood. His start last year against the Cardinals on national TV was huge. He won game two of the three games series and prevented a sweep which would have been too close for comfort at that point. As I recall, Travis even homered in that game.

I watched him pitch quite a few games here at AA and if I had one word to describe him I would use the word 'grounded.' He doesn't show much emotion on the mound and always looks to be in control. I think 2010 did a lot for his confidence as well.

Speaking of possibly being the next Cliff Lee, he does work out with Lee in the off-season which I imagine everyone already knows. What other lefty would you want to hang out with in the off-season when exchanging ideas and pitches? Wood should be a staple in this rotation for some time going forward.

Homer Bailey
12-24-2010, 11:41 AM
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36166&highlight=2005+draft

A fun re-read for the Wood portion, as well as a very memorable draft.

TStuck
12-24-2010, 12:12 PM
To say there was mass wailing and gnashing of teeth on Redszone when Wood was chosen would be an understatement. Seems the tune has changed a bit since then.

OnBaseMachine
12-24-2010, 12:22 PM
Great post, Santo. At the time of the draft he was a bit of an unknown and the majority of us were upset with that pick because no one had heard of him. But man is that pick (and the whole draft) looking great now or what. I considered Travis a good prospect last year but after watching him pitch in 2010, he's even better than I thought. I think he's underrated and is going to be a very good major league pitcher for an extended period of time. He's got good velocity for a lefty, a nice changeup, a nasty cutter, good control, he fields his position well, and he can swing the bat. He can do it all.

PuffyPig
12-24-2010, 12:41 PM
A good reminder on draft day that when the team picks a player who is not that well known, it may well be you, not the team, that is wrong.

Most posters hated the pick simply because he was unknown to them.

Most wanted a college pitcher picked, the the lsit of available ones are of players long since forgotten.

Also a good reminder that drafts can only be fairly rated many years later.

kaldaniels
12-24-2010, 01:58 PM
Classic thread. Serves as a great reminder to tone the adjectives down a notch or two.

Topcat
12-26-2010, 02:52 AM
I believe in the kid. I also want to state on draft day I was on here and loved the pick. He isn't pretty but the kid has a lot of Andy Petite in him. The guy that gets over looked but year after year is efficient. that is his upside in my opinion.