If we took anything away from the San Francisco Giants‘ 16-inning 4-3 loss to the New York Mets Monday night (and Tuesday morning), it may have been a casual comment from CSN Bay Area color commentator Mike Krukow in the bottom of the 16th: “We got a text from Brian Wilson tonight, who’s watching tonight, as he always does…”
If nothing else, it’s good to hear that the popular bearded closer still is invested enough in the organization to watch the games and stay in touch with the broadcasters, following rumors that Wilson was furious with the club after they non-tendered him this past offseason.
A second Wilson note came later Tuesday, when ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted that Wilson could be auditioning for teams around August 1 in Hawaii.
The 31-year-old, who had his second Tommy John surgery in April 2012, will have to show major improvement over his preseason form to interest teams. It was reported that Wilson tried out for the Mets in January and did not impress, having major issues with his velocity after consistently throwing up to 98 mph during his tenure with the Giants.
Wilson then seemed to fall off the face of the earth, an unusual step for someone who was so vocal and visible during his time with the Giants and was featured in numerous national commercials.
But clues to the closer’s whereabouts have continually emerged, with both Krukow and starter Ryan Vogelsong mentioning that they continue to keep in touch with him. And as the Giants bullpen has struggled throughout 2013, Wilson’s name has continually been brought up by fans who want someone to stop the bleeding.
Things have not gotten much better for the Giants’ staff lately, and Wilson’s recovery schedule ideally would allow him to join a team around September.
If the Giants see that Wilson is even close to being the dominant pitcher that he was during his tenure from 2006 to 2012, it would be sensible to give him a chance. The team does not have a full complement of relievers who can constantly be relied upon, and it would make sense to see if Wilson can still be that type of pitcher, especially if they are out of contention once September comes around.
Even if he doesn’t provide the electric presence that he did before his surgery, Wilson would provide a spectacular clubhouse presence that seems to has been lacking in 2013. It is a fact that Wilson provides a unique element to the Giants, even when it comes in the form of an off-the-field supporter as he was following his surgery last season.
It seems that a large chunk of Giants nation is not ready to say goodbye to Wilson just yet, and if he is fit to pitch again, it is only fitting that he get that chance with San Francisco.