Kapler explains why Wood in Giants rotation is 'big boost'

Alex Wood

Alex Wood only pitched three innings Saturday in the Giants' 2-0 win against the Atlanta Braves. His manager Gabe Kapler couldn't have been happier. 

Despite the small amount of work, Wood exceeded Gabe Kapler's expectations. Saturday was the veteran's first start since coming off the COVID-19 injured list. The virus had him out for three weeks. Wood, who wouldn't specify if he has been vaccinated or not, told reporters he had an off-and-on fever for a week and could barely get out of bed at times. 

Even before returning from the IL, Wood averaged just over five innings per start. But it's the innings he can eat up that are key for the Giants. 

"He goes three innings, you can imagine the next time out it's four, four-plus," Kapler said Monday on MLB Network Radio. "So now we've got a healthier, productive, effecient rotation happening. Where as before, we were really having to depend on two bullpen games a week and that can be taxing." 

Wood's three innings of work couldn't have been better. He didn't allow a hit and struck out four batters. His only miscue was hitting a batter.

The Giants' rotation now features Logan Webb, Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood. Johnny Cueto is looking to come off the IL soon as well. 

Wood gives the Giants balance in the rotation as a left-hander, and one with playoff experience. That's something Webb, Gausman and DeSclafani all lack. Webb and DeSclafani will be making their postseason debuts this year, while Gausman has four playoff games under his belt, totaling 10 innings. 

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However, Wood has 20 playoff games to his name with 33 innings in the books. He pitched 6 2/3 innings last postseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and allowed only one earned run while striking out eight as the Dodgers won the World Series.

"I think the big boost is having Alex back in our rotation," Kapler said. "Really important piece of our future, but also right this minute. So, really glad to have him back."

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