Using Pitch f/x to Explain Alex Wood’s Rocky Start
Coming into this season, there was a lot of talk about Dodgers’ left hander Alex Wood. With the exodus of Zach Greinke and injury to Hyun-Jin Ryu, Wood is one of the guys the Dodgers will be counting on this season to pick up the slack in the rotation. Wood is particularly interesting because of his extremely funky pitching motion. Here’s a gif of Wood throwing a pitch from his days back with the Braves:
As you can see, weird.
This spring, there was a lot of talk about Wood looking a lot better coming into 2016 because he had finally figured out how to throw all of his pitches from the exact same arm angle. This, coupled with an uptick in velocity, spelled big, big things for him coming into 2016.
So far, Wood has’t been very good. He hasn’t been awful either, he’s just been very inconsistent. His velocity has been better though, all three of his pitches- his sinker, changeup, and curve – are almost three mph faster than at any other point during his career.
So what gives? If he’s throwing harder, as predicted, why isn’t he seeing the better results that were also foretold?
Let’s take a look at the release locations for each of his pitches.