Thursday, July 01, 2010

More on Travis Wood (and the Reds rotation)

jasonkuo asks the big question about Travis Wood that I probably should have asked last time out:
What do you think his chances are of sticking around after (Edinson) Volquez comes back?
They're probably not good, unless the Reds really have guts and move Aaron Harang to the bullpen.

It's more likely, though, that Wood goes back to the minors after Volquez returns. I suppose Mike Leake could get sent down, but realistically it would seem that Wood is the logical choice.

If I had the pitching spot, though, I'd still place a pretty decent bid on Wood (and I would have suggested this even before his stellar outing today), because:

1) There are no guarantees with Volquez: He could be solid, but he could also stink up the joint and wind up back in the minors. The Reds are definitely in competitive mode, and they're not going to let Volquez work out the bugs in the Majors if he can't cut it.

2) Leake probably has an innings limit. Even if Wood is sent down, he could be back up in mid-August or later if/when the Reds decide to shut Leake down.

3) Wood could be trade bait. It doesn't seem like the Reds are going to be big-time buyers at the deadline, but Wood might be one of the more attractive chips the Reds would be willing to deal. Obviously, I don't have any inside information, but Wood is polished enough to fit the "Major League ready" requirement some teams might have at the deadline.

There are enough unknowns that I wouldn't rule out Wood as a factor the rest of the way. He's very likely to get sent down, but another strong start on his part could change that in a hurry.

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