Wood feels good after spring debut

Wood feels good after spring debut

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As Braves southpaw Alex Wood prepared to make his Grapefruit League season debut against the Nationals on Friday, he and pitching coach Roger McDowell discussed how to remain both competitive and smart while facing a division rival in Spring Training.

Wood might not have pitched exactly like he would when facing the Nationals during the regular season. But the young left-hander seemed pleased with his two-inning effort that was blemished by the two-run homer he surrendered to Tyler Moore in the second inning.

"There's always some nerves during the first one because you want to make sure you still have what it takes," Wood said. "But it was fun to be out there. My body feels good and that was the most exciting part about it."

Further distancing himself from any concerns that might have developed when he felt left forearm discomfort during the regular season's final week last year, Wood was pleased with the way his body felt during this 24-pitch effort. The only two hits he surrendered were the opposite-field offerings produced by Moore and Dan Uggla, who was released by the Braves last year.

"It was odd seeing [Uggla] in those colors," Wood said "It's really strange seeing him step in the box. He looks really good and he got a knock up the middle off me. I hope the best for him."

Wood hinted that he might have generously left a fastball up in the zone for Uggla, who sent the offering to the right-center-field gap. But the southpaw was certainly surprised when Moore followed by sending a sinker away over the right-center-field wall.

"I think the very first outing for me is going out there and getting your innings and feeling good and knowing you can still go out there and do what you can do," Wood said. "As we progress, that is when I'll really start to work on stuff mechanically and with pitches and all that good stuff."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.