Brian Wilson was absolutely hammered by the San Diego Padres on Sunday night and his implosion cost the Los Angeles Dodgers a win in their first game on American soil this season. But it turns out that the world’s strangest reliever has actually been dealing with elbow issues for a few weeks now, and he landed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday as a result.
Wilson underwent an MRI on Tuesday that showed no ligament damage in his right elbow. He has already undergone Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow twice, but at this point it does not appear he’ll need surgery again. The Dodgers apparently were worried about Wilson as early as March 10, when he experienced discomfort following a Cactus League game. That concerned obviously intensified after his brutal outing in San Diego.
During Sunday night’s game Wilson entered in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Dodgers leading 1-0, and he immediately surrendered a mammoth home run to Seth Smith. He proceeded to give up two more runs (one earned) while not recording an out. All told, he was torched for three runs on two hits with one walk. It was a dismal outing, and Wilson took the loss as the Padres went on to win 3-1.
Wilson’s delivery has always looked like it puts strain on his body. The problem is, the guy has always been so successful and had such great stuff, there was no way anyone was going to tinker with his motion. But if arm issues continue to pop up, questions may need to be asked about his mechanics.
The Dodgers signed Wilson to a one-year, $10 million contract this offseason to serve as the setup man in front of closer Kenley Jansen. For his career Wilson carries an ERA of 3.15, with a 1.32 WHIP and 171 saves in 197 opportunities.
There is no indication as to how long Wilson will be out, but considering the 32-year-old missed most of last season as he recovered from elbow surgery, we should all expect the Dodgers to be careful with him. In his absence expect Chris Perez to move into a setup role in front of Jansen.