The Los Angeles Dodgers found a diamond in the rough last season when they inked former San Francisco Giant closer Brian Wilson to a one-year deal. Coming off his second career Tommy John surgery, Wilson’s seven-year tenure with the Giants came to an unceremonious end after just two appearances in 2012.
Wilson appeared to galvanize his career with the Dodgers, allowing just one run in 18 appearances in 2013. The former hated reliever further endeared himself to the Los Angeles fan base as he was lights-out in the Dodgers’ postseason run.
With the idea of having a premier setup man, the Dodgers re-signed Wilson in the off-season to a one-year deal that includes a player option for 2015. However, Wilson has yet to pan out this season and after multiple assertions that the right-hander is healthy, manager Don Mattingly expressed concern after the reliever’s lackluster appearance in Wednesday’s loss, via the Los Angeles Times’ Steve Dilbeck:
You couldn’t see the velocity out there,” he said after Wednesday’s game. “Some of those are 88-89, stuff like that, even less. It does concern us a little bit, but then toward the end of the inning, he’s dialing it up. The other day he comes out, it’s 88-90. By the end of the inning he’s throwing 96. But there are concerns.”
To this point, the season has been a stark contrast compared to what Wilson gave the Dodgers last year. After just his second appearance, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with irritation in his right elbow.
During his stint on the DL, Wilson claimed he simply needed more work and in the days leading up to him being reinstated, the 32-year-old stated he was ready to contribute.
Despite his struggles, Wilson maintains that he’s healthy, which Mattingly indicated the team monitors on a consistent basis:
He tells Stan [Conte, head trainer] and all our guys — we check with him all the time — that he’s fine. He says he’s healthy.”
The right-hander has allowed 15 runs this season, 14 earned, and there have been few moments where he’s resembled 2013’s dominant form. While Wilson may claim he’s healthy, the Dodgers may be forced to again place him on the DL, even if it comes under the muse that he still is in need of more work.
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