WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Wood will take Gavin Floyd’s spot in the Atlanta Braves rotation, the latest pitching shuffle for manager Fredi Gonzalez in the aftermath of Floyd’s unusual elbow injury.
Gonzalez said Friday that Wood will start Wednesday’s game against the Houston Astros. Wood was recently sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett to prepare for being a starter, a move that has proved to be prescient given Floyd’s injury.
“I’m glad (we) had the foresight at the time to say, ‘Hey, let’s get this guy stretched out just in case,’?” Gonzalez said.
Wood has made two starts with Gwinnett, pitching 8? innings with a 1.04 ERA. He is 5-6 with a 3.43 ERA with the Braves this season.
Because Wood won’t be needed until next week, Atlanta recalled left-hander Ryan Buchter from Gwinnett before Friday’s game against the Washington Nationals.
Floyd, meanwhile, was placed on the 15-day disabled list and returned to Atlanta, where team doctors were to examine the broken bone inside his throwing elbow.
The right-hander broke the olecranon – the bony tip of the ulna that sticks out at the curve of the elbow – as he threw a curveball on the first pitch of the seventh inning of Thursday’s win over the Nationals. The injury is so unusual that the Braves have yet to venture an estimate as to how long he will be sidelined.
Detroit Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya had a similar injury in 2010 and never pitched in the big leagues again. He tore a ligament in his elbow while attempting a comeback during spring training in 2012.
Floyd has the opposite history: He recently recovered from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery and was making his ninth start since his return. Gonzalez said the initial postgame examination showed that the ligament repair is intact and has no relation to the broken bone.
The Braves lost two starters – Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy – for the season when both required Tommy John surgery during spring training.
Also Friday, outfielder Justin Upton complained again of dizziness and was not in the starting lineup. He did not play Wednesday and appeared only as a pinch-hitter Thursday, grounding out in the eighth inning.
“We are going to try and get him checked out,” Gonzalez said. “He is not feeling good physically. He is frustrated with the way his body feels and the way he feels physically. We feel it is time to get a full evaluation, wherever that may be.”