SF Giants left-handed starting pitcher set to begin rehab assignment

San Francisco Giants v Miami Marlins
San Francisco Giants v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The pitching staff could soon receive a boost. Left-handed pitcher Alex Wood is set to begin a rehab assignment with the Sacramento River Cats according to the team's transaction log.

SF Giants left-handed starting pitcher set to begin rehab assignment

The veteran pitcher was off to a nice start in 2023, but suffered a hamstring strain while fielding a bunt off of the bat of Jean Segura in a start against the Miami Marlins in April 19. He was placed on the injured list the following day with pitching prospect Tristan Beck taking his spot on the roster.

The good news is that Wood is expected to miss minimal time. Given that only two weeks have passed since his last start, it could be a fairly short rehab assignment. It would not be surprising if it is just one start before he is added back to the active roster.

His return will give the Giants' pitching staff a boost. What role he will fill remains to be seen, but a move to the rotation makes sense. As a unit, the starting rotation has posted a 3.32 ERA, which ranks as the fourth-best mark in baseball.

That is due primarily to the contributions of Logan Webb, Anthony DeSclafani, and Alex Cobb. The front of the rotation has been strong, but the back-end has be more of an unpredictable, mixed bag.

Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling have struggled to the tune of a 7.33 ERA and 6.10 ERA, respectively. That said, Stripling did look a bit better in his most recent start. Wood returning to the rotation would likely bump Manaea into a bulk innings role in the bullpen.

When he was healthy, Wood tallied a 1.80 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 1.40 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, and a 1.83 SO/W ratio across three outings. This includes a 33.3 percent ground ball rate, which is much lower than his career mark of 48.8 percent.

The subpar command and flyball tendencies have not been characteristics of Wood's 11-year career, so it is likely a function of small samples. When he is good, the veteran southpaw attacks the zone, gets a healthy numbers of strikeouts, limits walks, and keeps the ball on the ground. The Giants could use some help in the back-end of the rotation and Wood could certainly provide that boost.