The San Francisco Giants were dealt a bit of bad news on Saturday, when they learned that closer Brian Wilson has structural damage in his right elbow, and could require Tommy John surgery. He’ll visit Dr James Andrews in the near future to determine whether or not the surgery is the best course of action for him.
Wilson, who missed 30 games in 2011 with a strain to the same elbow, has struggled in his two appearances this season. He’s allowed two runs in two innings, to go along with four hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. More important for the Giants’ 30 year-old closer is his drop in velocity. His fastball, which sat at 96 mph until 2010, dropped to 94 last year, and is down to under 91 this year.
Losing Wilson might not be a huge blow for the team, because he didn’t seem right for all of last season, tallying a 3.11 ERA in 55 innings, and a strikeout rate that plummeted to under a batter per inning. The Giants have a much more dominant reliever in their pen right now in Sergio Romo, who struck out 70 while only walking five last year in 48 innings en route to a 1.50 ERA.
Wilson is known for his crazy personality off the field, and has become more of a national sports celebrity after the Giants’ World Series win in 2010. He is making $8.5 million this season, and is set to hit the free agent market after this season is up.