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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Braves Injury Update: Jordan Walden activated, Alex Wood sent down


By on 6/10/2014 10:15:00 PM

Atlanta Braves right-handed reliever Jordan Walden, on the DL since May 5 with a strained left hamstring, was activated prior to Tuesday's game against the Colorado Rockies. Lefty Alex Wood was sent to Triple-A Gwinnett. Wood will be "stretched out" as a starter, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Prior to his injury, Walden made 14 appearances, allowing four runs (ERA 2.92), striking out 19 and walking six. The bullpen has been a weakness for Atlanta in the 2014 season, and O'Brien speculates the front office may look to trade a starter for experienced relief help.

In 2014, the 23-year-old Alex Wood started seven games (including one compete game) and made 11 relief appearances, going 5-6 with a 3.43 ERA. O'Brien writes, "He’s been largely effective in both roles, but the Braves project him as a long-term starter and have already seen what he can do when he’s part of the rotation for significant periods."

Wood was drafted in 2012 (2nd round) and made his debut May 30, 2013, splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen (11 starts, 20 relief appearances). He is pre-arb and under team control through 2019.

Walden, 26, has a career record of 12-11 and ERA of 3.16 in 187 relief appearances over five seasons. He was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in 2006 (12th round) and made his major league debut on April 2, 2010. In November 2012, the Angels traded him to the Atlanta Braves for Tommy Hanson, a trade that stirred interest because Atlanta traded a 26-year-old, apparently healthy starter for a setup reliever. It proved to be a wise trade, however, as Walden was outstanding, while Hanson had a poor year for the Angels, was non-tendered at the end of the 2013 season, was signed by the Texas Rangers and released a month later, and is now on a minor-league contract with the White Sox.

Walden is in his first year of arbitration ($1.49 million) and under team control through 2016.

  (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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