Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brian Wilson's velocity is still a concern

Brian Wilson had a quick 1,2,3 save last night and got three strike outs in the process, but even though the results were nice, there is still a nagging concern about the Giants closer. Where is his mid 90's fastball?

Here is his velocity chart from Fangraphs, with last night's outing plotted down at the end with the orange dot:

Click for larger view

Wilson has gone from a flame throwing closer who was regularly in the 94-97 mph range to a guy who still throws hard but is in the 92-95 mph range. This spring outing suggests that he might have slipped even more with a fastball that topped out at 92.1 mph last night.

Wilson has been fighting elbow soreness and his been used lightly and carefully by the Giants this spring and that in itself will make me nervous about a guy who has a history of elbow injuries.

I know that it's just an exhibition outing and that maybe he didn't have all the adrenaline flowing to get his velocity pumped up. In addition, his cutter/slider pitch was working well and maybe he didn't need those extra miles per hour. It's also possible that Wilson has just changed as a pitcher who wont depend entirely on overpowering opposing hitters.

I will continue to be nervous about the missing velocity until it comes back or Wilson shows that he can be an elite reliever without it.

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