Probable Giants starting pitcher Alex Wood says an altered mound posture has helped his slider

Ahhh the first win of MLB spring training. It’s always refreshing.

The San Francisco Giants earned spring win No. 1 on Thursday against the White Sox, behind the strength of manager Gave Kapler’s pitching staff. The final score: 3-1 Giants.

Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, projected starting pitcher Alex Wood led the game off with a 1-2-3 first inning, including a strikeout. He’s still tinkering with his pitching stance and motion, to nobody’s surprise, since it’s spring training. But Slusser had the details on a couple aspects of Wood’s game that are evolving.

Wood said he’s changed his posture on the mound a bit to get better depth on his slider and he’s been pleased with the pitch all spring. He’s also trying out a new changeup grip and while he didn’t use any changeups Thursday, he’ll unveil it his next time out. “It’s still a little bit of a work in progress,” Wood said.

Susan Slusser/San Francisco Chronicle

Wood is certainly in the shop, sharpening his tools. And he needs that slider to break, that’s for sure. Per, Wood relied mostly on his sinker and his slider in 2020, though he pitched just 12 and two-thirds innings. The last time Wood used his pitching tools on a regular basis was in 2018 when he started 151.2 innings for the Dodgers in 33 games, 27 of them starts. He had a fine ERA that season, too, at 3.38.

Will Wood rejuvenate his career as a Giants starter? Time will tell, especially as he further fine-tunes his slider and works on that changeup. As for the entire squad, next up for the Giants is a spring training tilt with Padres on Friday.

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