JUPITER, Fla. — Braves prospect Alex Wood worked the final two innings Thursday against St. Louis, finishing off a convincing few weeks with the big club. He was reassigned to minor league camp after the game.
The former University of Georgia left-hander has a 93-95 mph fastball that’s accentuated by an unorthodox delivery, and manager Fredi Gonzalez said he’s shown he could help the Braves as a reliever if they need him this season.
For now, he’ll get stretched out as a starter in his first full season of pro ball.
Wood, 22, was a second-round draft pick in June and posted a 2.22 ERA in 13 starts at Class-A Rome with 52 strikeouts and 14 walks in 52-2/3 innings. He gave up three hits and a run in two innings Thursday, the only earned run against him in seven innings of five relief appearances this spring.
All three batters he faced in the seventh inning were left-handers, and Wood induced groundouts by Jon Jay and Adron Chambers and a flyout by Matt Holliday.
“He’s nasty against those left-handers,” Gonzalez said. “We kind of did that on purpose (bringing him in for the seventh)…. It’s not that he’s a crafty left-hander that needs deception to get people out. He’s got plenty of stuff, and he’s kind of funky.”
Short hops: Reliever Jordan Walden threw 30-plus pitch bullpen session Wednesday, his second since getting an epidural last week for a bulding disc. His next step is to throw live batting practice or pitch in a game. Walden has pitched since his Feb. 23 spring debut… The Braves play the New York Mets at 1:05 p.m. Friday at Champion Stadium, with Tim Hudson to face Mets right-hander Jeremy Hefner.