That picture you see up above is not of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Alex Wood. Technically, it’s of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood, and it’s of him pitching in the last real MLB game in which he has appeared.
Rest assured, Wood is on the Reds - a key piece of the monster deal between the two clubs this last winter - but he’s not pitched a lick since being acquired. Sidelined since late February with a balky back, it had appeared that after numerous setbacks, Wood was finally slated to fire a bullpen and then begin a rehab stint. That, though, didn’t happen, as The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans reported earlier today that Wood has again been shelved after feeling ‘soreness’ while stretching.
Alex Wood stretched in Indianapolis and felt some soreness. He didn't throw a bullpen. He'll go back to the doctor to follow-up.— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) June 25, 2019
Of course, when it comes to pitchers, each and every setback pushes pause on an already lengthy comeback trail. For starting pitchers, though, it halts a process that could take as much as a month or more to get them fully stretched out, which is why pitchers and catchers report so early to spring training in the first place.
Considering Wood hasn’t even thrown a pitch since early spring training, this could effectively cement that he’ll be shelved until after the July 31st trade deadline, something of particular pertinence to him given that he’s set to become a free agent at season’s end. There’s always the chance the Reds look to fast-track Wood back as a reliever, something he’s got ample experience doing, but even that will remain delayed with this specific bump in the road.