For everything that went right in 2010 for Travis Wood, 2011 saw everything go epic fail wrong. His K/9 dropped, his BB/9 rose and ERA jumped a full run. It got so bad, even Dusty Baker didn’t want to abuse his arm anymore as they sent him to AAA in June. I’m giving his 2011 a ‘lack of confidence’ pass; I didn’t see an organization that fully trusted him and I saw that turn into a lack of trust for himself. It’s my theory and I’ll type if I want to. I’d love to hear how you think a guy goes from striking out 8 per 9 to 6.5 per 9 in the matter of 1 season without signs of an injury. The only thing that seemed to get hurt to me was his pride.
There’s also something that strikes me as odd about his 2011 line and it was a similar fluke that hit his teammate, Edinson Volquez: Ridiculously bad 1st innings. Quirky stats here: He gave up 21 ERs in the first inning in 2011, good for a 10.50 ERA. In total, he gave up 57 earned runs for 2011 meaning he gave up over one third of his runs in the first inning of his starts. His ERA from 2nd inning to 6th? It’s at 3.97, a reasonable ERA to expect from him with average luck. Wanna know how well he did after the 6th inning? Well, I don’t know, it’s hard enough to reach the 6th inning if your 1st inning ERA is that high. I’m not making a skillset comparison here, but realize Madison Bumgarner started the year off with some terrible first inning luck. You can attribute most of his bad March/April to a couple of 2 inning clunkers. But Madison wasn’t going anywhere. He knew that and his managers knew that. But did Travis Wood know that or was the talk of Mike Leake, Sam LeCure and Homer Bailey getting to him? You’ll have to find out how many licks to the center of that Dusty Baker tootsie pop yourself.
Note I will not necessarily draft Wood straight out the gates. That’s why he’s ranked so low in ADP; I can go on yahoo, click the clear flag to blue and see how he performs in his first few starts. Your starters will probably fluctuate over the course of the year but someone always grabs that seemingly outta nowhere guy in mid April and you just wonder ‘how he knew’. Sometimes you have to look at what’s Under the Greydar to find them. See how the title ties in nicely with that line? It’s like we here at Deep League Thoughts knew we were ready to bring this sucker full circle!