In Friday night’s ninth inning outing from Brian Wilson, the Los Angeles Dodgers saw a similar reliever to the one they had on Opening Night against the San Diego Padres.
During the Dodgers first game on American soil, Wilson blew a one-run lead in the eighth inning as he gave up three runs and recorded no outs. Last night, the teams were tied going into the ninth inning and the right-hander was charged with four runs in a disastrous series finale for the Dodgers.
Many believed Wilson’s effort on Opening Night was going to be an outlier after the 32-year-old went on the disabled list to take care of the nerve irritation in his elbow. Despite the fact that Wilson is back, it seems as though he may not be 100 percent healthy.
The Dodger setup man has a track record of not disclosing any pain he may be feeling to the training staff. In his unfortunate outing against the Padres, Wilson admitted to feeling pain in his elbow during warm ups, though he did not tell anyone about it until after the game had ended. Although Wilson is off the disabled list and presumably healthy, this leaves many to believe that he may still be pitching through pain which is clearly affecting his performance.
Dodger manager Don Mattingly admitted that he and his staff never know if Wilson’s elbow is positively healthy, which is a cause for concern regarding his role as the setup man according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles:
“First, we’ll make sure he’s OK physically and then you maybe give him a chance to work on some things in those other innings, because we’ve got some other guys throwing the ball well,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think we need to make a huge decision, but if Brian throws the ball the way he’s capable of, that makes us pretty strong.”
Wilson has posted a 15.75 ERA in just four innings of work whereas Chris Perez is sporting a 1.69 ERA over 10.2 innings pitched. Although the electric reliever is signed to a lucrative one-year, $10 million deal, his current value and role within the bullpen is complicated. Should Wilson continue to struggle, a role change may be necessary to allow himself to rediscover the pitcher he was last September.
Dodgers News: Reliever Brian Wilson Placed On Disabled List With Nerve Irritation