When Travis Wood arrived at spring training camp Tuesday with a splint on his finger, it caused a few eyebrows to rise. The lefty pitcher was signed to a minor league deal by the Tigers in late January and is a non-roster invitee to the spring camp. A pitcher showing up with his hand in a splint is usually a pretty bad sign.
Turns out the story Wood had to go along with the splint is even more incredible. About a month prior to spring training, Wood was preparing to go bow hunting, when a mishap with the crossbow he was using nearly caused the index finger on his non-pitching hand to be cut off.
Wood, who knew spring training was fast approaching and was hoping to fight for a spot on the Tigers Opening Day roster, had the most insane and badass response to the injury.
Tigers non-roster invite Travis Wood has a pin in right index finger after a bow hunting accident. He said he asked doctor if chopping finger would get him back to pitching sooner. Fortunately, he’s left-handed. He’s throwing in camp but not catching yet.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) February 14, 2018
Yes. He actually asked his doctor if amputation would be a faster route back to pitching. Sure, that’s crazy, but talk about being devoted to the sport.
Since the injury is to his right hand, and Wood is a lefty, he will still be participating in spring training workouts and will, presumably, continue to pitch through spring. His dedication may pay off with a place on the 40-man roster if he has a good camp.
New Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire had a sense of humor about the injury.
“He’s got a split-finger now,” Ron Gardenhire said of Travis Wood.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) February 14, 2018