Dave Dombrowski and the Detroit Tigers are on the move again. Reports have surfaced that the Tigers are pursuing closer Brian Wilson to fill a vital hole in the bullpen.
The former Giants’ closer and Dodgers’ setup man, known for his quirky antics, may be more than what he portrays in his public image. Despite undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012, Wilson has posted numbers to justify earning a closer’s role once again.
In 18 relief appearances in 2013 with the Dodgers, Wilson posted an 0.66 ERA, 3 holds, an 0.88 WHIP, 13 strikeouts and 4 walks in 13.2 innings. In the postseason, he did not give up a run in six innings while striking out eight batters and walking two against the Braves and Cardinals.
97.1 The Ticket’s Mike Valenti believes that Wilson, who signed a $1 million contract midway through last season with the Dodgers, would provide what the Tigers need at a discounted price.
“I think that because of all of the goofiness and the beard, that people forget about the numbers that he has put up,” Valenti said on his radio program Tuesday. “He doesn’t give up home runs and the velocity is there. When you look at the numbers, you have to look at Wilson as a cost-effective choice for closer, and it seems that the Tigers are most likely going to sign him.”
Concerns about Wilson’s velocity naturally arose following the Tommy John procedure, as his fastball velocity fell from 94.2 in 2011 to 92.6 in 2013. Wilson features a pitching arsenal which includes two and four-seam fastballs, a slider, and a cutter.
In his eight year major league career, Wilson has given up only 17 home runs in 333.2 innings. Joaquin Benoit gave up 19 in his last two seasons with the Tigers.
Do you think that the Tigers should pursue Wilson as their closer for next season? Or is there someone else better fit for the job?
Let us know in the comments below.