Travis Wood was not a novelty act.
Sure, the guy could hit well “for a pitcher,” and he could run the bases well “for a pitcher,” and he could play defense in the outfield passably well “for a pitcher,” but, now that he’s heading off to join the Kansas City Royals, it’s worth remembering that Wood was simply a really good baseball player in his time with the Cubs.
Wood, who was the longest-tenured Cub before his departure, amassed 5.6 pitching WAR in his time with the team, and added another 1.7 WAR via hitting, defense, and baserunning. He transitioned between the rotation and bullpen without issue, and, although he was never an ace or a lights out reliever, he was a fairly consistent, reliable pitcher, who, yes, could also take an at bat or play some defense when necessary. (He could also win a single game on the mound and at the plate.)
Here’s hoping he has a lot of success with the Royals, and also still gets a chance to hit every now and again.
In celebration of his time with the team, the Cubs put out a video of unique Wood highlights, which is a whole lot of fun to watch and remember:
Thank you to World Series Champion Travis Wood for all the moments only he could provide. pic.twitter.com/mk4XVRCY1b
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) February 15, 2017