When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Brian Wilson to a contract last season, they were unsure of what they’d get out of the former San Francisco Giants closer. Wilson was coming off his second Tommy John surgery and missed nearly the entire 2012 season, managing to appear in only two games. Once Wilson joined the Dodgers in August, he quickly established himself as a still dominant reliever. Wilson’s results in 2013 led to high expectations in 2014, which made his collapse in the Dodgers’ loss on Sunday that much more surprising.
Two days after Wilson gave up three runs to the Padres in the eighth inning, Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com reports the reliever will be placed on the disabled list with nerve irritation:
Brian Wilson placed on DL. Elbow problems. Nerve irritation.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 2, 2014
Wilson’s first regular season appearance came in Australia on March 22, when he retired the Arizona Diamondbacks in order. With a one-run lead on Sunday, Wilson didn’t appear to have his normal command or velocity. The first batter he faced, Seth Smith, hit a home run that tied the game at 1-1. Wilson then committed a fielding error and allowed a single that scored two more runs. Manager Don Mattingly had seen enough and pulled Wilson before the 32-year-old recorded an out.
Following the loss, post game comments from Mattingly and Wilson suggested the reliever simply missed his spots. News that Wilson is headed for the disabled list is another blow to the Dodgers’ pitching staff that also lost Clayton Kershaw to the DL. Somewhat similarly to Wilson’s situation, Kershaw’s back inflammation wasn’t believed to be serious, but on Tuesday it was announced that he would be placed on a restricted throwing routine for two to three weeks before being re-evaluated.
Losing Wilson places more responsibility on off-season signee Chris Perez’s plate, who also has experience as a closer with the Cleveland Indians. Perez had his share of struggles, ultimately losing his role as closer and has been used sparingly through the four regular season games, which will likely change moving forward.
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