Brian Wilson was a free agent for the entire season after being two-years removed from getting the last out in the World Series. The Giants had a new closer in Sergio Romo and Wilson was soon out of a job, prompting the Dodgers to come calling.
Regular Season Grade: A+
The Los Angeles Dodgers were looking for bullpen help as they roared towards the playoffs and due to his relationship with GM Ned Colletti, the Dodgers were the primary suitor for his Wilson’s services. They had him workout for the club and impressed management enough to give him a shot on July 30.
After going to the minors to get back into the groove of things, Wilson made his Dodgers debut on August 22 against the Miami Marlins and in his one inning, he struck out two while allowing just one hit. It was just a sign of things to come for Wilson and the Dodgers.
Well, not only did Wilson impress management, but exceeded everyone’s expectations as he came back from Tommy John surgery looking stronger than ever.
In 18 appearances for the Dodgers, Wilson had a 0.66 ERA, allowed one run on eight hits and struck out 13 batters. Wilson quickly became a major force at the back of the ‘pen for the Dodgers as he ended the season as their main eighth inning guy.
Playoff Grade: A+
As the set-up man, Wilson continued his successful comeback in the postseason. In his three appearances in the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, Wilson went 1-0, allowing zero runs on three hits and striking out four.
He strengthened a bullpen that ranked behind the Braves’ league-leading staff and with the help of Wilson, the Dodgers bullpen outmatched Atlanta’s.
In the League Championship Series agaisnt the St. Louis Cardinals, Wilson was just as effective in three games and allowed just one hit and zero runs, while striking out four more batters.
Overall Grade: A+
The Dodgers were desperate for bullpen help down the stretch as some of the young guns began to feel the grind of the long season. Wilson was working hard to catch the eye of any team and the Dodgers were in position to take a risk on him.
The two found each other and it was a perfect match as Wilson not only met expectations, but during his brief stint as an eighth-inning guy showed he was all the way back from elbow problems.
Wilson has set himself up nicely in free agency as his strong showing has garnered a lot of interest. The Dodgers would be smart to bring him back, but Wilson might be more inclined to become a closer once again.
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