Brian Wilson throws for scouts: “He looked good”

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Brian Wilson threw for an assemblage of scouts yesterday and Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com says that the reviews are favorable:

“He looked good,” the scout said. “His fastball was 90-93 mph. [He’s] not far away.”

It may be easier to list the teams that wouldn’t be at least mildly interested in what is, essentially, freely available bullpen talent. And his presence on the market may be frustrating for any out-of-contention team looking to peddle a reliever.

Off the top of my head I’d say Detroit, Atlanta, San Francisco and Pittsburgh would all have at least some interest. Knobler says scouts from the Pirates, Diamondbacks, A’s, Giants, Phillies, Rangers, Rockies and Cardinals were in attendance at Wilson’s audition.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.