San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson hasn’t pitched since allowing three runs and blowing a save against Atlanta on August 15. The bearded one has since been out with an elbow injury and things aren’t looking so rosy in terms of a return to the team this season.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn’t sound confident when speaking about a possible return for Wilson. He claims to be fairly confident the reliever will be back before the end of the season. To us that translates to “I have no idea if he’ll be back, but I hope to God he is.”
Wilson has not thrown off a mound at all since injuring his elbow, and even had to shut down a flat-surface throwing session because of discomfort in the injured area. He is said to be getting close to actually giving it a go from the mound, but no timetable has been given. That’s not good.
It’s currently the first week of September and the Giants trail the Arizona Diamondbacks by six games in the National League West with 23 to go. While they do face Arizona five times in that span, that’s still a very narrow tightrope to be walking this late in the season.
The defending World Series champs need to play their absolute best baseball over the final month if they want to have any shot at making the playoffs. They can’t do that with Wilson on the shelf. That said, if they rush him back it could risk further injury and force him to miss a significant chunk of time.
While you can’t ever just give up on a season, if the Giants dig themselves and even deeper hole in the NL West, they might as well just keep Wilson shut down and let him recover fully.