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Thread: Travis Wood is ready...

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    Resident PED Expert nemesis's Avatar
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    Travis Wood is ready...

    After another excellent start last night and 7 starts in a row where he has went 6 innings twice and 6.2 or more 5 times, it's proof positive he is in a groove.

    In those 7 starts his #'s are:

    3-2 record / ERA of 1.89 / 47.2 innings / 31 hits / 10 BB's / 47 K's and a WHIP of 0.860...

    Dominate.

    In his last 41 starts spanning all last season and this one since developing a cutter and taking a couple MPH of his fastball his #'s are...

    17-11 record / ERA of 2.34 / 257.2 innings / 199 hits / 75 BB's / 223 K's and a WHIP of 1.06. He has only given up 15 HR's in those same innings even though he is 1 to 1 on FO vs GO. Meaning they aren't getting good wood on the ball even when they do make contact. Keep in mind all these numbers are on a poor infield in Carolina and a poor defensive team in Louisville behind him this season.

    In his last 41 starts he has given up 80 runs. Not earned runs. All runs. 80. That's less than 2 per start. He has only given up 67 earned runs in that same time frame. He is giving his team an average of 6.1 innings per start even on a limited pitch count, even with poor defenses running his pitch count up.

    If his last name was Chapman these numbers would make him a Top 2 or 3 pitching prospect in all of Baseball and have RZer's in a Fevered Foaming Fury.

    That's the rub. That's what I don't get. It's not like Wood hasn't paid his dues. He has pitched at every level in the Reds system from the GCL to AAA. He has had success at every level he has pitched at. Every one. The highest ERA he has posted before getting promoted at any level was 3.66 that was his first full season in the minors and probably battled arm fatigue late in the year. The next highest was 2.70 and the next was 1.82 and the next was 1.21 and the next was 0.75. Dominate. Dominate. Dominate.

    He has pedigree. He was a 2nd round draft choice. 2 rounds ahead of Sam LeCure and one behind Bruce. 2nd round draft choices are supposed to be in the majors in 5 years. He is in year 6. He is 23. He has built up his arm strength. He is ready.

    He was the last cut in spring training and was thiiiiiis close to making the ODR as the 5th starter. He is a change of pace guy. No he isn't a BIG arm like Cueto, Bailey, Volquez or Chapman. Neither is Leake. Half the board has an unhealthy crush on him though. Wood does have his supporters on here, I am aware of that. He has more than his fair share of ho hummers who think he is all smoke and mirrors. His numbers show, he is a pitcher. A real legitimate pitcher. He could have mentally imploded after his horrible run in AA in 2008. He instead developed a new pitch, change his throwing motion, rehabbed his arm harder and trusted his stuff.

    I am not sold on the idea of using him as trade bait. Not to say I wouldn't. But he is a Tom Browning, he is a David Wells type, he could be a Cliff Lee. He has succeeded and excelled at every level. What's to say he wouldn't be a 10 year answer in the rotation here?

    It's a nice problem to have I'll admit. The trades the Reds make in the next 6 weeks could go along way towards the continued push towards competitiveness year in and year out vs mortgaging the future for one winning season.

    Keep in mind if the Reds do trade for Lee and keep Harang in the deal, the Reds will have 3 starting pitchers who could be FA at seasons end. You demote Bailey to the bullpen which screws with his head, limits his innings, hurting the team next year and who knows if he will even be effective. Volquez will be limited on innings next year, Leake will be limited to around 200 ~ 210, Chapman to around 150 to 180.

    So now you've got 4 pitchers on limited innings going into next year.

    Volquez ~ 170ish
    Cueto ~ 220 (if he becomes more pitch efficient)
    Leake ~ 200
    Chapman ~ 150 - 180
    Bailey ~ 170 to 180 (if you stick him in the Bullpen)

    That rotation will eat a bullpen alive without mercy.

    So what do you do? Pick up Harang's option? Not likely. Arroyo has a declining K rate and an increasing BB rate. He is trending in a bad bad direction and eventually he will implode... Probably sooner than later. In this scenario your going to need Wood who'll be available for up to 220 innings. There is no one else short of a 27 year old Matt Maloney in the system who can do that next year.

    I say stay the course with what you have and continue to build from within... Or make a trade with Bailey (not Cueto) who I think both are going to figure it out eventually for Haren or another top pitcher with PRODUCTIVE years left on his contract...

    Go with

    Traded Starter
    Arroyo
    Cueto
    Harang
    Leake and Volquez (alternate starts)

    for the remainder of the season. Let what may happen, happen.

    Next year go into it with

    Traded starter ~ (no limit)
    Volquez ~ 150/170
    Cueto ~ 220
    Leake ~ 200
    Wood ~ 210

    Let the rotation mature together and give Chapman an extra month of two in the Minors to make sure he is ready ready. Move Wood to the Pen and then at or near the Deadline move the traded for starter and his contract for needs replace Wood in the Rotation and your set with 5 perfectly slotted arms going into their primes for 2 or 3 years with affordable salaries.

    Volquez
    Chapman
    Leake
    Cueto
    Wood
    Last edited by nemesis; 06-21-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Pretty long post, didnt read it just yet, but I do agree we should see him up sooner than later. I do have 1 thing to say, do we chance him coming up and not being anything more than a 3 at most or try to trade him at a pretty peak value.

    I guess what I'm saying is he a perfect trade piece or is he a perfect keeper?

  4. #3
    Resident PED Expert nemesis's Avatar
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Quote Originally Posted by GIDP View Post
    Pretty long post, didnt read it just yet, but I do agree we should see him up sooner than later. I do have 1 thing to say, do we chance him coming up and not being anything more than a 3 at most or try to trade him at a pretty peak value.

    I guess what I'm saying is he a perfect trade piece or is he a perfect keeper?
    Keeper. The Reds have 3 guys maybe 4 who are legit #1 arm types in Cueto, Volquez, Bailey and Chapman. Leake is a perfect #2 or 3. No one can tell me Wood couldn't fill that 4 or 5 spot with 190+ innings 70 BB's 160 K's and 10 to 12 wins year in and year out. You can't trade those kinds of players for 15 to 18 starts outta of a guy... Not smart baseball. Trade Alonso, Trade Heisey, trade AA or lower pitching. Not AAA ML ready starting pitchers. If a guy is more than a rental then yes, they become much more readily available for trade.
    If you can't be a good example... then you'll just have to be a horrible warning...

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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis View Post
    Keeper. The Reds have 3 guys maybe 4 who are legit #1 arm types in Cueto, Volquez, Bailey and Chapman. Leake is a perfect #2 or 3. No one can tell me Wood couldn't fill that 4 or 5 spot with 190+ innings 70 BB's 160 K's and 10 to 12 wins year in and year out. You can't trade those kinds of players for 15 to 18 starts outta of a guy... Not smart baseball. Trade Alonso, Trade Heisey, trade AA or lower pitching. Not AAA ML ready starting pitchers. If a guy is more than a rental then yes, they become much more readily available for trade.
    Fair enough. Im leaning more towards that hes more the type of guy you deal. Then again I'm always going to keep the TOR guys, and be more willing to deal the BOR safer guys.

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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    I keep Wood and try to get a deal where we help the other team without sending a lot of talent--i.e. by helping them get salary relief, which we can offer because we're not going to renew Harang and Arroyo. That spells Roy Oswalt to me if the Astros can be gotten to do it.
    One thing Walt's got to keep an eye on with Wood is that he's already at 90 innings. If he's going to have a significant number of quality innings at the ML level, he's to be brought up pretty soon. My late 2010 rotation: Oswalt, Volquez, Cueto, Wood, Arroyo (Leake not past 140, Homer on DL). 2011: Oswalt, and the best 4 of Volquez, Cueto, Wood, Chapman, Bailey, Leake, LeCure if all those guys can be protected in the trade.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Nice post, nemesis. I agree that it's time to bring Wood up, either as a reliever or let him get some starts in Lecure's spot. He has been very good in Louisville this season. I watched him pitch a couple times on TV during spring training and I came away impressed with his stuff. From what I saw, he's not a junkballer who gets by on fooling people. He's got legit stuff, IMO. I think he's got enough stuff to be a solid major league starter.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    IMO, Wood isn't quite ready. There's still something very shaky about him. He does get stronger in later innings which tells me that he may not put up similiar numbers as a reliever. He's not as good as he was last year. He gives up flyballs quite a bit. I just don't see him contributing any more than LeCure right now. But I WOULD like to see how LeCure could do out of the pen.

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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Quote Originally Posted by GOYA View Post
    IMO, Wood isn't quite ready. There's still something very shaky about him. He does get stronger in later innings which tells me that he may not put up similiar numbers as a reliever. He's not as good as he was last year. He gives up flyballs quite a bit. I just don't see him contributing any more than LeCure right now. But I WOULD like to see how LeCure could do out of the pen.
    Goya, you would know better than most of us probably seeing him in person the most. But I ask, if his peripherals are solid as they seem to be especially over his last 7 starts, is his shakiness because he feels he has to be perfect because the offense down there is so terrible or he is worried about the defense behind him?

    Just different kinds of shaky....
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Hard to say for me, since I haven't seen Wood except for a short spring training outing.

    But I will say I have been pleasantly surprised by Lecure. He's got a solid array of pitches that he commands quite well. Savvy pitcher who should get better with experience around the league. BOR, sure, but cheap, healthy, competent BOR is nothing to sneeze at. This makes me feel that if a deal is out there for an ace, Wood could be sacrificed as part of a package without real pain. Doesn't mean that I want Wood dealt, just that there's more depth to deal from than I anticipated at the beginning of the year. I'd rather see Lecure dealt, but I doubt he draws the interest that Wood does.
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Why we are fiddling around with LeCure when we have Wood makes no sense to me.

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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    I've kind of flip-flopped on Wood. I had him as my #1 prospect after last season, yet from what I've witnessed, I've come away unimpressed with his control.

    I just wonder how he'll do against top level hitters, even the 7th and 8th hitters in MLB lineups. If he lets too many on base via BB, it could get ugly.

    If it was out of hand this year, I'd say sure, let's let him get his lumps, but not right now with a good record. He's a September call up, for sure, and perhaps sooner if there's another injury. Next year, he's back to battling for the 5th spot.
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Quote Originally Posted by mdccclxix View Post
    I've kind of flip-flopped on Wood. I had him as my #1 prospect after last season, yet from what I've witnessed, I've come away unimpressed with his control.

    I just wonder how he'll do against top level hitters, even the 7th and 8th hitters in MLB lineups. If he lets too many on base via BB, it could get ugly.

    If it was out of hand this year, I'd say sure, let's let him get his lumps, but not right now with a good record. He's a September call up, for sure, and perhaps sooner if there's another injury. Next year, he's back to battling for the 5th spot.
    But that's the thing he has a better walk ratio than any starting pitcher on the Reds current starting staff. He is at like 2 walks per 9 innings...1.5 walks per start... I don't understand how people get that he walks the house. In his last 10 starts he has walked more than 2 people twice. 4 on May 13th and 3 May 23rd and only gave up 4 hits and 1 Run in that start. 6 times in his last 10 he has walked ZERO or 1 batters.
    Last edited by nemesis; 06-21-2010 at 05:45 PM.
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    I think Wood could do as well if not better than Lecure at the MLB level. I think he should be given a shot at the bare minimum.

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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis View Post
    But that's the thing he has a better walk ratio than any starting pitcher on the Reds current starting staff. He is at like 2 walks per 9 innings...1.5 walks per start... I don't understand how people get that he walks the house. In his last 2 starts he has walked more than 2 people twice. 4 on May 13th and 3 May 23rd and only gave up 4 hits and 1 Run in that start. 6 times in his last 10 he has walked ZERO or 1 batters.

    Perhaps I didn't see the best of Wood, but what I did see was him against big league hitters and it wasn't the best. Maybe he didn't have his best stuff that day.

    In general, I agree with you that he's a) paid his dues b) ready to be tested c) dominant in AAA.

    If, since 2009, his declining FB% and rising GB% is indicative of his future, then perhaps he is that #3 starter. But since those improved #'s coincide with the addition of his cutter, and since that cutter wasn't fooling anyone when I watched, I'm still a bit open to possibly selling high on Wood.

    Then again, if he stays and sits in AAA until September, I'm fine with it. He's not likely going to be better than a developing #5 starter for the next 2-3 years, IMO, so no need to rush. He could / should be a # 3 by the time he's 25-26 if his velocity stays around 92.

    He is a decent bullpen option now, although like GOYA said, he struggles early sometimes.

    Overall, after Lecure's showing, I'm really anxious to see what Wood and Maloney can do.
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    Re: Travis Wood is ready...

    That's the thing that gets me. Everybody on this board knows LeCure is not in this teams plans as a future starter. There is slim to none chance he is in the running for a starters job in the Spring. Wood was in the mix til the last hour. Why not bring up the guy you almost took vs someone most people view as a non hitting Micah Owings? If Bailey is going to miss significant time why run out your 4th horse in AAA vs your #2?
    If you can't be a good example... then you'll just have to be a horrible warning...

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