Manager Bruce Bochy said of the injury to Brian Wilson, “We just got some bad news on Brian Wilson. We had some tests done last night and it does show some structural issues with the elbow, so we’re going to get a second or even a third opinion with Brian. There are definitely some issues there. Initially, I was just being optimistic that he would be fine, but after the tests done yesterday, it doesn’t look very good right now.”
The Giants will be looking for a couple of more opinions on the issue, including a visit with the renowned, grimace-whenever-his-name-is-mentioned Dr. James Andrews. Brian Wilson has already had Tommy Johnsurgery once in his career, but he could be facing it again.
The structural damage to his ligament is serious, and there is a strong possibility that the postseason star and former 48-saves closer will be faced with missing the entire season. Everyone’s favorite, bearded reliever will be missed by the Giants, but the team is fortunate to have a multitude of great relievers.
Bochy will likely implement a closer-by-committee for now, so expect to see more Sergio Romo (remember when he complained about innings?), Javier Lopez, and Santiago Casilla- all three of them are among the better relievers in the game.
Even if Brian Wilson doesn’t need Tommy John surgery, any type of surgery on that ligament- if it is damaged as badly as early indications point out- will likely cost the 30-year-old right-hander the season.
After two 2+ WAR seasons, including a 2010 season in which he was worth a staggering 2.6 WAR- Wilson went back down to his usual total of 0.6 WAR. He is no longer an elite reliever, but he is still one of the top ten closers in the game. The strikeout artist will certainly be missed, but hopefully Lopez, Casilla, and Romo won’t miss a beat in his absence. Those three were worth 0.7, 0.6, and 2.2 WAR respectively last season, so the drop-off will be almost negligible.
Sergio Romo pitched in just 48 innings last season, and the additional time will showcase his ability as one of the best relievers in baseball and an underrated commodity. Brian Wilson is better than Lopez and Casilla, but both are capable set-up men and should supplement Romo as the closer. That’s right, I want Romo to be named the closer of the San Francisco Giants in Wilson’s absence. They don’t need to trade for anybody right now, what they need to do is use their other star reliever as the closer.
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