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Alex Wood (SP, CIN) - Week 17 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 23% of leagues

ANALYSIS: After hurting his back in spring training and then suffering two setbacks in his rehab, it seems that Alex Wood is finally close to debuting for his new team. Wood made a third rehab appearance on Wednesday, striking out three over two scoreless innings while throwing 38 pitches. Set for a bullpen session on Saturday, the former Dodger will make his likely last rehab appearance for Double-A Chattanooga on Monday where's he's scheduled to throw 75-80 pitches.

Besides his health, the first big question with Wood is when and where he'll slot into the rotation, as he's returning to an improved Red's rotation; with Desclafani, Roark, and Mahle all pitching better than expected. The other question mark is whether it'll be the Alex Wood of 2017 or 2018 that we'll see. In 2017, Wood had a 2. 72 ERA over 152 innings with a 24.6% K-rate. But over the same number of innings in 2018, he posted a 3.68 ERA that was a full run higher and a 21.2% K-rate that was three points down.

It remains to be seen which version of Wood will pitch for Cincinnati this year, but even last year's lesser numbers are still a good floor. And if Wood gets back closer to his 2017 self - which could be helped by a return of his changeup to both its shape and dominance of the one he had two years ago - then he could be a valuable asset for the stretch run of 2019.

Check out RotoBaller's entire fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and sleepers list, updated daily!