Lefty Alex Wood to start opening day for the Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics have named lefty Alex Wood their opening day starter

Jul 8, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Alex Wood (57) throws a
Jul 8, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Alex Wood (57) throws a / Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics have announced that left hander Alex Wood will start on Opening Day. The A's are scheduled to face off against the Cleveland Guardians at the Oakland Coliseum next Thursday evening at 7pm PST.

Wood has started 202 games in his major league career but this will be his first time getting the Opening Day nod. The lefty was signed by the A's earlier in the offseason as a means to provide rotation depth to a system greatly in need of it.

Most fans expected holdover JP Sears to earn the start on opening day but Wood seems like a strong alternative choice. He's thrown 1,218 innings in his career, pitching to a 3.74 ERA in his 11 seasons.

He's had a decent start to the spring, posting a 4.76 ERA in his first 11 innings with a 13-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Sears has been a bit better during spring training but Wood provides a bit more veteran leadership and by all accounts, is a strong clubhouse presence for his new club.

The Athletics will be the 5th team Wood has pitched for in the majors. He spent the last three seasons with the Giants and was quite good in 2021 and 2022, but fell off last year and ended up pitching in relief for a bit before earning his starting job back at the end of the season.

Prior to that, he also pitched for the Dodgers, Reds, and Braves, where he served almost exclusively as a starter.

The A's really need him to remain healthy and provide a full season's worth of innings. With Ken Waldichuk out due to elbow surgery, Freddy Tarnok out with a hip injury, and Luis Medina missing time to a knee sprain, the A's pitching depth has run thin.

They'll need Wood, Sears, Paul Blackburn, and Ross Stripling to stay healthy and effective or risk diving into a pool of minor league options that have had limited success at the highest level. With opening day now just around the corner, we'll soon see what this group can put together.