Former major leaguer and noted beard-haver Brian Wilson is attempting a comeback as a knuckleballer, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reports.
On a muddy mound at USC on Wednesday morning, wearing high-top spikes and a Hawaii-themed cap, Wilson threw a 30-minute bullpen session. Of those dozens of pitches, all but a handful were knuckleballs.
“That right there,” Wilson said while pulling off his muck-caked shoes, “was an MVP-Cy Young knuckleball. You can write that down, too. No joke.”
“I can already see myself out there,” he said, “throwing up some waffles.”
Wilson, a three-time All-Star, last pitched in 2014 with the Dodgers. He pitched out of the Giants’ bullpen from 2006-12 before that, helping them win a World Series in 2010. As he went into hiatus, he carried a 3.30 ERA with 172 saves and 407 strikeouts across 382 innings in his nine-year career.
“I may be 34, but I’m actually 26 biologically,” Wilson said.
Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.
Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.
One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.