After being out of baseball for over a year now, Brian Wilson is finally making his return after a second Tommy John surgery. The bearded former closer agreed to a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday and his return to MLB seems to be imminent. However, there are no guarantees on what type of pitcher he’ll be upon his return.
Just a few seasons back, Wilson was the best closer in baseball and it seemed like he’d stay with the San Francisco Giants for a long time – but injuries change everything. Bullpen guys can have their entire careers turned upside down by one bad injury, but players like Wilson will always second chances based on their reputations.
The Dodgers reportedly watched the Beard workout at UCLA this past week and the consensus was that he’s close to being back. Wilson worked out for teams in spring training, but apparently didn’t look good at all. Now he’s finally getting to the level where he can compete with big league hitters.
Los Angeles currently sits in first place in the NL West, so they’ve got time to wait and let Wilson rehabilitate himself in the minors. He has a solid month to get ready for the stretch run if needed, because there’s no point to bringing him back at less than 100%.
It’s always a toss up with guys coming back from elbow surgery, but I like Wilson’s chances of one more good run in the majors. I doubt we see the old Beard in 2013, but I bet he’s still capable of being a solid contributor in the Dodgers’ pen this season.
Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter