Blake Wood promoted to Kansas City

Wood is headed to KC

The Royals on Wednesday promoted Blake Wood to Kansas City and designated reliever Josh Rupe for assignment. The 6-foot-5 righthander has been serving as the O-Royals' closer this season, logging a 2.16 ERA with five saves in 16.2 innings pitched.

Blake Wood, 24, was originally selected by the Royals in the third round of the 2006 draft out of Georgia Tech. A mechanical engineering major, Wood signed quickly and received a $460,000 bonus. He was assigned to Idaho Falls that summer, where he logged a 4.50 ERA in 12 starts with 46 strikeouts in 52.0 innings pitched.

Wood missed the first half of the 2007 season after undergoing surgery for a herniated disk in his back. He returned strong, however, blowing through the Midwest League after a short rehab stint in the Arizona League, and he was promoted to Wilmington in late August. He finished 2007 with a combined 2-2 record and 2.78 ERA in 55.0 innings pitched.


Wood debuted for Idaho Falls in 2006

He was healthy for the entire 2008 season, making 28 starts between Wilmington and NW Arkansas. Wood was particularly dominant in the Carolina League that year, going 3-2 in 10 starts with a 2.67 ERA. In 57.1 innings pitched, he fanned 63 hitters while walking just 15. He struggled a bit during his first exposure to Double-A, however, logging a 5-7 record and a 5.30 ERA in 18 starts for the Naturals.

In 2009, Wood was again plagued by injuries. Another back injury caused him to miss the start of the season, and elbow soreness caused him to miss two more months. He was sent back to NW Arkansas, and his numbers there were disappointing – 2-8, 5.83 ERA, 78.2 IP, 92, 49 K, 28 BB.

Late in the summer last year, the Royals began kicking around the idea of moving Wood to the bullpen. He made the switch while pitching for the Surprise Rafters during the Arizona Fall League, and although his numbers there were disappointing (6.75 ERA in 14.2 IP), the Royals were intrigued by his potential as a reliever. The club placed him on its 40-man roster during the offseason.

Pitching in big league camp this spring, Wood was impressive, and he was one of the final roster cuts before the club broke for Kansas City. He was assigned to Omaha, where he was serving as the O-Royals' closer through the first month of the season.

After surrendering three earned runs over three innings in his first two outings, Wood has been outstanding. He has allowed just one run over his last 10 appearances, lowering his ERA to 2.16. In 16.2 innings for the O-Royals this year, Wood has surrendered just 12 hits while fanning 12 and earning five saves. He issued seven walks, but the Pacific Coast League hit just .207 against him.


Wood pitched well for the Omaha Royals this season

Wood is armed with an overpowering fastball that sits in the mid-90s and touches 97. He also throws a hard, slurvy breaking ball and an at times plus changeup. It remains to be seen how the Royals will use him, but given the big league club's bullpen struggles, he could quickly earn a prominent role.

Josh Rupe leaves the Royals after appearing in 11 games, logging a 5.59 ERA in 9.2 innings pitched.



Blake Wood Career Statistics and Information
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2006
College: Georgia Tech
Position: Pitcher
DOB: 8/8/1985
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 230 lbs
B/T: R/R

Year

Level

W

L

ERA

SV

IP

H

R

ER

BB

K

2006

Rk-A

3

1

4.50

0

52.0

50

28

26

15

46

2007

3 LV

2

2

2.78

0

55.0

50

19

17

17

52

Rk

0

0

0.00

0

9.2

9

2

0

0

15

LoA

2

1

3.03

0

35.2

32

12

12

14

26

HiA

0

1

4.66

0

9.2

9

5

5

3

11

2008

2 LV

8

9

4.25

0

144.0

128

72

68

47

139

HiA

3

2

2.67

0

57.1

32

17

17

15

63

AA

5

7

5.30

0

86.2

96

55

51

32

76

2009

2 LV

2

9

5.55

0

82.2

96

53

51

29

53

Rk

0

1

0.00

0

4.0

4

1

0

1

4

AA

2

8

5.83

0

78.2

92

52

51

28

49

2010

AAA

2

1

2.16

5

16.2

12

5

4

7

12

CAR

17

22

4.26

5

350.1

336

177

166

115

302



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