Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 5/30/13
ATLANTA Even the heartiest of career-focused 22-year-olds require a day or two to settle into a new apartment, new city, new environment before launching their tenure at a new job. In Alex Wood's unique case, he didn't even have time to unpack a suitcase before being thrown into the so-called wolves on Thursday, adhering to the big-league obligation of speaking to the media, just hours after being promoted to the majors from Double-A Mississippi. "It's kind of indescribable, really," said the fresh-faced Wood, while recounting Wednesday's events of Mississippi manager Aaron Holbert stealthily informing the University of Georgia alum of his change in circumstances. 'By the way, Wood, you're going to Atlanta tomorrow.' "I've never felt like that in my life, probably never will again," said Wood, emitting an ear-to-ear grin. "It's an unreal feeling. I'm usually not at a loss for words, but I was (Wednesday) night. It's pretty special." Wood, who got less than two hours sleep overnight, has dominated minor-league hitters at two stops over the last two seasons (Rome, Mississippi) as a starter. But with Atlanta, Wood's initial task will likely come in the form of fortifying a bullpen that recently lost Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty to season-ending injuries. "I'm excited to be here," says Wood (8-5, 1.72 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 10929 K-BB rate in 109.2 career innings). "Hopefully, I'll be able to help out" right away. With Wood, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez sees a big kid with a live arm and funky delivery when hiding his fastball. "But he doesn't need it to get people out." Hailed by MLB.com as the Braves' No. 5 prospect (behind pitchers J.R. Graham, Lucas Sims, Sean Gilmartin and catcher Christian Bethancourt), Wood apparently has a plus-fastball, plus-curve and nasty changeup ... that tends to befuddle hitters waiting on the mid-90s fastball. To compensate for Wood's promotion, the Braves put no-options veteran Juan Francisco on waivers, meaning the other 29 MLB clubs have 10 days to claim Francisco (five homers, 16 RBI, .241 batting) for their big-league rosters. After that, Francisco would have the free-agent option of signing with another team, which includes accepting a minor-league assignment with the Braves.
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