The odds of San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson being ready for the start of the regular season aren’t looking good.
From Chris Haft of MLB.com:
“I’ll be honest — I think it’s less than 50-50,” (manager Bruce) Bochy said when asked about Wilson’s chances of being on the active roster when the Giants open their defense of their World Series championship Thursday at Los Angeles. “But we’re not going to rule him out completely.”
As Haft points out, missing the start of the season isn’t necessarily a huge deal. If they put Wilson on the DL, he could be eligible to play by April 5. They will take their time bringing him back, not wanting his oblique injury to linger during the season.
If Wilson is unable to go, Bochy can call on a deep bullpen that includes two pitchers with some closing experience from last season in Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla.
The manager says he has already made a decision on what he will do with the closer’s role if Wilson is sidelined, but said he wasn’t “prepared to announce which way we’re going to go.”
Wilson saved 48 regular season games in 2010, and six more in the postseason as the Giants won their first championship since 1954.
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Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: