It’s time for the penultimate episode of our 54-part series reviewing the 2021 San Francisco Giants. For today’s episode, we pay left-handed pitcher Alex Wood a visit.
26 games, 138.2 innings, 3.83 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.183 WHIP, 152 strikeouts, 39 walks, 1.3 rWAR, 2.5 fWAR
I’ll be brutally and boringly honest with you: I really don’t have much to say about Alex Wood, despite the fact that his 2021, which was his first season with the Giants, was quite good.
There are primarily two reasons for my lack input here. The first is that it’s 9:30 p.m. on Friday night as I write this. This is the final thing I’ll write in what has been a very, very long week. A three-day weekend mercifully awaits me. I haven’t yet hit the wall, but I’m close enough that I can smell what type of wood it is. Pardon the pun. I promise that one was inadvertent.
And the second is because Wood, for as good as he was ... simply was. I enjoy watching Wood pitch, quite a lot, and always have. I’ve wanted him on the Giants for many years, and I was very happy when they signed him. Both times.
But as an entity, Wood represents one of the more boring things in baseball, albeit one that has been a staple of the Giants recent and intense success.
Wood used to be good. Not great, but good. Reliably good. Entertainingly good. Most importantly, consistently good. He was all of those things in 2021, as well, with an emphasis on the “consistent.”
Just look at these numbers from 2015 through 2018, as well as this season:
2015: 3.84 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 6.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9
2016: 3.73 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 9.8 K/9, 3.0 BB/9
2017: 2.72 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 8.9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9
2018: 3.68 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 8.0 K/9, 2.4 BB/9
2021: 3.83 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 9.9 K/9, 2.5 BB/9
Consistent! And good!
The thing that made Wood sign with the Giants for one year and $3 million, instead of multiple years at an annual rate of eight figures (something he then signed for after the season ended), is what happened in 2019 and 2020, when he pitched very poorly, but for an explainable reason: he was injured.
That’s the Alex Wood story, and it’s always been the Alex Wood story. The Giants signed him to a contract knowing that if he was healthy he would be consistently quite good, and if he was not healthy he would be either on the Injured List or on the field but not good.
None of this was a secret. None of this was a surprise. You can even go back and read my article from when the Giants signed Wood (coincidentally published exactly a year ago, keeping in mind that I am writing this on Friday), in which I essentially said the same thing. Not because I’m smart, but because, again, it wasn’t a secret.
However, if do go back and read that article, I ask you to kindly ignore this final paragraph:
This certainly isn’t a move that will put the Giants in contention in a division that features the Dodgers and San Diego Padres, but it certainly feels like the Giants are a better team today than they were yesterday.
Anyway, Wood stayed mostly healthy, and what do you know, he was good.
Whoever could have seen that coming?
Role in 2022
The Giants put their faith in Wood continuing to be a good pitcher (smart) and a healthy pitcher (less smart but probably still smart), and, prior to the lockout, signed him to a two-year, $25 million deal. He’ll be in the rotation next year, with his usual funk, and general goodness.
How do you grade Alex Wood’s season?
This poll is closed