Catching Up With Alex Wood

Former Ardrey Kell pitcher predicts MLB will begin by July 1

By Susan Shackelford | Photos courtesy of Alex Wood

Posted on April 24, 2020

When Ballantyne Magazine last talked to lefthander Alex Wood, he was coming off a stellar 2017 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, one that included an MLB all-star selection as well as outstanding performances in the World Series against the Houston Astros.

When the coronavirus halted the MLB season this March during spring training, the former Ardrey Kell High star was poised for a return to the Los Angeles Dodgers after a one-year stint in Cincinnati. The Dodgers had traded him after a 9-7 season in 33 appearances in 2018.

These days, he and his wife, Suzanna, are hanging out at their home in Phoenix and planning a return to Los Angeles soon. We caught up with Alex by email for a quick update.

How are things going?

Suz and I have mostly been stuck in the house. The mornings here in Arizona, I’m still able to train and throw. I’m not sure what I’d do if I wasn’t able to at least train. We have been on a lot of walks with our dog, Paxton. The weather has been amazing, so we have been outside a lot, as well as watching an insane amount of television and movies.

What is your prediction on the 2020 MLB season resuming?

I think the 2020 season will resume by July 1. That’s what I keep hearing, and hopefully, things will keep trending the way they are, and we will be playing some baseball in the near future. There will for sure be a training period probably of about two weeks (before the season begins).

How are you staying in shape and keeping your arm loose?

Thankfully, I’ve got access to a gym and a throwing partner during the lockdown. If I didn’t, I would be in some trouble, especially if I couldn’t throw. I was lifting with (teammates) Cody Bellinger and Kikè Hernández early on but have since moved on to working out on my own.

What do you think about being back with the Dodgers?

I’m incredibly excited to be back in the rotation with the Dodgers and to be with a lot of my close friends that I have played with for a long time. I was feeling as good as I have in quite a while this spring, so no matter where they plug me in the rotation, I think it’s got a chance to be a really great year.

Was it your desire to rejoin the Dodgers?

I had a good amount of options by January this offseason and knew the Dodgers were pretty interested. I love LA, and a lot of my best friends in baseball are there, so it’s an honor to be back and playing for a legitimate contender.

How did you overcome the back injury that sidelined you most of last season in Cincy?

It took a lot of work. I overhauled my mechanics, changed my training and treatment and went from there. Fortunately, I feel great after all of that and am looking forward to playing eventually. My injury was bad back spasms that I just couldn’t get over because I pushed the envelope too quickly early on when the injury first happened.

You signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Dodgers upon rejoining them in January. If the season isn’t played, will that arrangement carry over to 2021?

No. If the season gets canceled, I will earn a year of service time and become a free agent again to sign wherever I want to.

Do you think the penalties MLB rendered in the Astros’ cheating scandal were appropriate?

I didn’t think the punishments were appropriate, but I understand the complexity of the situation to some extent. I did think they should have made a better example of players that were heavily involved in the scheme. Not sure exactly to what degree — but something financial would have made a lot of sense to me if they didn’t feel they were able to suspend players because so many people took part.