Charlotte Knights

How a Charlottean could be the starting NL pitcher in Tuesday’s All-Star Game

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday night’s baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood throws to the plate during the first inning of Wednesday night’s baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Los Angeles. AP

Charlotte’s Alex Wood is 10-0 pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season.

Could he be added to the National League squad for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Miami? And if so, could he start?

Wood, who played for Ardrey Kell High before pitching in college at Georgia, threw seven shutout innings Wednesday in a 1-0 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is the first Dodgers pitcher to start a season 10-0 since the franchise moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Los Angeles in 1957.

According to a story in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers plan to start Clayton Kershaw on Sunday, the last day before the All-Star break. Under baseball rules, that would disqualify Kershaw from playing in the All-Star Game.

And thus, Major League Baseball could substitute Wood for Kershaw in the National League lineup. That could make way for Wood, 26, to start in the All-Star Game at Marlins Park.

AlexWoodHS
Former Ardrey Kell High standout Alex Wood, pictured in May 2009 as a pitcher for the Knights, is 10-0 this season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. ROBERT LAHSER Observer File Photo

Wood, who previously played for the Atlanta Braves, has a remarkable 1.67 earned-run average this season.

“It’s something you dream of as a kid,” Wood said of the possibility of being named an All-Star. “It’s hard to even fathom right now. We’ll see what happens.”

By moving Kershaw to a Sunday start, the Dodgers have pushed the issue of getting Wood All-Star consideration. The National League players previously voted on the pitching staff.

“He’s very deserving,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Obviously, he’s pitched well enough to join that team. As I understand it, there still is an opportunity for him to play on that team.”

While playing for Ardrey Kell, Wood was named statewide 4A Player of the Year in 2009. He accepted a scholarship at Georgia, and later redshirted because of need for Tommy John surgery, a procedure to his left elbow.

The Braves took Wood in the second round of the 2012 MLB draft. The Dodgers acquired him in July 2015 in a three-team deal with the Braves and Marlins. The Braves acquired, among others, outfielder Hector Olivera, who was later suspended following a domestic-violence arrest. Olivera did little as a Brave and was traded to the San Diego Padres.

Roberts said the Dodgers have talked to Kershaw about moving his start to Sunday, and he’s all for this chance to get Wood to Miami.

“He’s made it very clear his priority is the Dodgers,” Roberts said of Kershaw.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell

  Comments