Monday, July 18, 2011

Brian Wilson Loses Control

Brian Wilson was never going to be mistaken for a control artist like Cliff Lee or Greg Maddux, but after last season where he posted a career low 3.13 BB/9 after 3 straight seasons of improving walk rates there was reason to be optimistic.

The good vibes of the second half (2.43 BB/9) and the playoffs (3.1 BB/9) have disappeared under a barrage of walks.

This season Wilson the persona has grown into a huge star but Wilson the closer has slowly slipped away. With the walks mounting, the strikeouts falling and his fastball a mile and a half slower the future is not quite as rosy. To top everything off his fabled new 2 seam fastball appears to not by the miracle pitch that he makes it out to be.

While his counting stats sure look good (and are sure to make him very expensive in arbitration) the advanced stats that take into account the things most in control of by the pitcher show his decline. His FIP is up nearly a point and a half, his SIERA is up over a point and his tRA is up nearly two points.

Wilson needs to get the walks back under control, he doesn't need to be elite in limiting walks but like Jonathan Sanchez he just needs to be not be horrible, if not Bruce Bochy might need to start seriously considering someone else to pitch the highest leverage innings.

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