Grady Wood Returns To Canaries As Player-Coach
Photo: Erin Bormett / Sioux Falls Canaries
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- He owns one of the best pitching seasons in Sioux Falls Canaries history. Now Grady Wood is back in a Birds uniform, with a new responsibility.
The Canaries have signed Wood for the 2020 season. In addition to joining the Birds' pitching staff, Wood will also serve as the Canaries' pitching coach.
Wood was a bona fide ace for the Canaries in 2017, leading Sioux Falls with a 2.71 ERA and 117 strikeouts. Those numbers ranked fourth and fifth in the American Association, respectively. He also led the Birds with a 1.00 WHIP and a 4.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
"Grady was one of the most dominating starters in the league in 2017," Canaries manager Mike Meyer said. "He's an innings eater; he attacks hitters; he doesn't walk anybody, and he's a high-strikeout guy. We're excited to have him back."
Wood made four starts for Sioux Falls last season before missing the rest of the year after receiving Tommy John surgery on his elbow. He opened spring camp with the Canaries in 2019 while recovering from the injury.
Wood says his arm feels better than it has in years, including his 2017 season.
Meyer said Wood will head up an "all hands on deck" coaching situation among Canaries pitchers.
"Everybody's going to chip in and help out with scouting reports," Meyer said. "The more hands we have in it the more in-depth we can get."
Wood, who will turn 30 the night before Opening Day, was a 10th-round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2012. Wood spent four seasons in the Mariners' system before moving to independent baseball, reaching as high as Double-A Jackson in 2015. The right-hander owns a 3.62 career ERA in the minors.
The Sioux Falls Canaries open their 2020 season at the Birdcage on Tuesday, May 19 at 7:05 p.m. Check out the Birds' 2020 schedule here. For more information on season tickets, suites, group outings, and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries Front Office at (605) 336-6060, or visit www.sfcanaries.com.