Indians Mystery: Hunter Wood and the Curious Case of the Missing Curveball

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Back in spring training — the original, not the reboot — I discussed the likelihood of reliever Hunter Wood making the Cleveland Indians’ opening day roster.

On the surface, he seemed like a lock, especially considering the team just traded for him last summer and he’s fresh out of options. Still, there were concerning trends from Wood’s Cleveland debut last year, and his spring performance did little to alleviate them.

In response to this piece, Michael Augustine of FanGraphs suggested Wood should work on his curveball. After all, there’s barely any horizontal movement on his four-seamer, so pairing it with a decent curve could improve his overall performance.

When exploring this suggestion further, you learn two things.

One — Wood’s curve is actually deceivingly effective despite it boasting an underwhelming spin rate.

Two — he barely ever throws it.

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Casey Drottar is a Cleveland Indians writer for Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to his podcast, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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