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.
In between one inning during every home game at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillie Phanatic will drive around the edge of the playing field shooting hot dogs into the stands from a pneumatic gun — a hot dog cannon, if you will — mounted on an ATV. Until Monday night, a fan had never been injured during this event.
Sarah Bloomquist of 6 ABC reports that, unfortunately, a Phillies fan was injured on Monday night when the Phillies opened a three-game home series with the Cardinals. Kathy McVay of Plymouth Meeting, PA was hit in the face. McVay said, “I have a small hematoma in my eye. And mostly, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. It’s going to go down the side of my face.” She also suffered cuts and bruises and had to be taken to the hospital to be tested for a concussion.
McVay doesn’t plan to take legal action against the Phillies and seems to be taking the injury with a good sense of humor. She said, “It gives people a good laugh, and if that makes somebody chuckle, then that’s fine.” McVay also advised fellow fans, “Just to be aware, because you never know. I understand a baseball, but not a hot dog.”
The Phillies reached out to apologize to McVay on Tuesday and offered her tickets to another game once she heals, assuming she would like to return to Citizens Bank Park.
One wonders if Monday’s incident might motivate the Phillies to do away with the hot dog cannon stunt. There’s really nothing gained by doing it, and there are plenty of other ways for the Phanatic to have fun with the fans around the ballpark.