Wood claimed on waivers by Pirates

Wood claimed on waivers by Pirates

Wood claimed on waivers by Pirates
ANAHEIM -- Word reached the Angels before Friday night's game against the Red Sox that Brandon Wood, once viewed as one of the game's future stars, was claimed on waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wood was designated for assignment by the Angels on Tuesday in order to activate shortstop Erick Aybar. Wood appeared in six games this year -- the Angels were 4-0 when he started at shortstop -- but he once again was struggling in his few opportunities at the plate, batting .143.

"It's a terrific opportunity for him," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's a young club hopefully making strides, getting better. To not have the pressure he had here ... he needs to play baseball. I think it's a terrific place for him to be right now, and [I] hope he makes the most of his opportunity."

His Angels teammates were emotional when they learned in Texas that Wood would be departing.

"He's been a brother to a lot of us," catcher Bobby Wilson said. "Woody's a great guy, as good a friend and teammate as you could have. I wish him all the best, and I know all the other guys do, too."

Longtime Minor League teammate Reggie Willits is sold on Wood's talents and commitment.

"He's one of my best friends, so naturally I'm pulling for him, but I've seen what Woody can do," Willits said. "We played together all through the Minors, and I'm convinced he has the skill set to be an everyday player in the Major Leagues."

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.