Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Brandon Wood Era Ends In Anaheim

On the heels of a 15-4 routing of the Texas Rangers, Tuesday night saw the sad conclusion to Brandon Wood's career as a Halo. In order for the Angels to clear a roster spot, Wood was designated for assignment. With Wood out of options in Anaheim, the Angels have 10 days to trade, release or place him on waivers. Despite Wood's heartbreaking failure at the major league level, a player with his pedigree and minor league track record will almost assuredly be granted a flier by another organization. A notion that Mike Scioscia was well aware of...
"It was tough, a tough decision," Scioscia said. "He's one of our guys. We just have no way out of this right now. There's no roster flexibility.

"He needs to go play and establish his career. We'll be proud of him when it happens. ... We all had high expectations for what he was going to do when he got his chance at the major-league level but it just didn't happen. Baseball wasn't fun for Brandon last year and it isn't fun for him right now.

"It needs to be fun for him again and it will be. We just don't have the development at-bats he needs at the major-league level."
I'm willing to accept, even if it's begrudgingly, that what Scioscia said is true. Wood was finally given the keys to the third base job in 2010 and posted a .146/.174/.208 line which still gives me furious bouts of night terrors. While I see no reason to carry three catchers on the roster or nary a reason to even employ Jeff Mathis, Erick Aybar's return from the DL gave the Angels too many infielders and Wood's 8 strike outs in 15 plate appearances weren't doing him any favors.

The Angels simply could not afford to keep running Wood out there to flail away at off speed pitches if they want to compete for the AL West crown. Wood, a first round pick in 2003 and crusher of minor league pitching, may be a guy who needs that change of scenery to rejuvenate a once bright career. Or, maybe, he's another failed Angels prospect cut out of the Dallas McPhearson mold. I'm hoping for the former since I have more of an emotional attachment to Wood after rooting for him for seven years. I'm also, ever so slightly, financially invested in him after deciding this would be the appropriate year to sponsor his Baseball-Reference page.

And maybe it was. Over the next 10 days, I expect quite a few teams and fans to be kicking the proverbial tires on Wood. So to all of you new Brandon Wood hopefuls, remember I have a B-R sponsorship for sale. It's only slightly used but it's afraid of curves and doesn't recognize when stuff is slowing down. Hit me up if you're interested.

I do wish Brandon all the luck in the world even though it feels like I just eulogized him. Now that the pressure of being the future of the Angels is off of his back, he can get back to enjoying baseball.

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