Dodgers right-hander Brian Wilson has a 10.22 ERA this season, allowing 15 runs in 16 appearances while occasionally struggling to crack 90 miles per hour with his once-overpowering fastball.
That’s quite a change from last season, when Wilson returned from Tommy John surgery to throw 13.2 innings with a 0.66 ERA and convinced the Dodgers to re-sign him to a one-year, $10 million deal with an $8.5 million player option for 2015.
All of which is why manager Don Mattingly sounds worried about Wilson when talking to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times:
You couldn’t see the velocity out there. Some of those are 88-89, stuff like that, even less. It does concern us a little bit, but then toward the end of the inning, he’s dialing it up. The other day he comes out, it’s 88-90. By the end of the inning he’s throwing 96. But there are concerns.
When asked if Wilson is injured, Mattingly replied: “He says he’s healthy.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement, especially considering he began the season on the disabled list with an elbow problem.
And that $8.5 million player option is looking like a sure thing to get picked up this offseason.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.