The SF Giants rotation is set to receive a boost soon enough. According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, Alex Wood is set to begin a rehab assignment on Sunday and could be ready during his next turn in the rotation.
SF Giants veteran starter Alex Wood set to begin rehab assignment on Sunday
This was Wood's second trip on the injured list. He sustained a hamstring strain in April and suffered a back strain in May. The good news is that neither injury was considered serious, so he did not miss extensive time.
The Giants could definitely use an extra arm in the rotation. They have been running a three-man rotation for the past couple of weeks. Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Cobb, and Logan Webb have all done a nice job in soaking up innings when their name is called.
However, the Giants have had to go with bullpen games to fill in the gaps. In fairness, one of those bullpen games each turn is when Sean Manaea is the bulk innings arm, so it is, in a sense, a scheduled start.
Manaea got off to a really rough start in 2023. After a string of bad outings, he was sent to the bullpen. The results have been encouraging as he has tallied a 3.52 ERA in eight appearances out of the bullpen.
The main concern is overworking the bullpen, which is what can happen with bullpen games. To their credit, the Giants have mitigated some of that risk by carrying three bulk innings relievers in Manaea, Tristan Beck, and Jakob Junis. It is not an ideal set up, but it has been working for the most part.
The return of Wood should help in that regard. When he was healthy, the left-handed hurler has registered a 4.80 ERA, 4.57 FIP, 1.60 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, and a 1.88 SO/W ratio in eight outings. His command has been uncharacteristically rough, but that could be a product of not being able to get into a groove from a health standpoint.
The Giants should return to having four pitchers in the rotation by the end of this week. Wood's have not been great in 2023, but he has registered a 3.71 ERA across 11 seasons in the majors, so he is better than he has shown so far.