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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The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.