Brian Wilson leads the National League in saves at 39. He has been one of the most consistent closers in all of baseball.
Consistent you ask?
Well Brian's version of closing in consistent in a different way than you think.
Giants fans are witnesses to this.
Almost every time he is asked to save a game, he starts off by putting men on base. Whether he walks them, or gives up a hit, he is always making Giants fans nervous.
He has a 94 to 99 MPH fastball, along with a cutter and a slider. These pitches are effective enough for him, as his success shows.
But what if he added another pitch? With the speed he has on his fastball, adding a simple change-up with make him a dynamic big-game pitcher. His strikeout rate would go up and he would get more ground ball double plays if men did get on base against him.
It seems that sometimes he gets bored out there on the mound, even if it is a close game, and decides he better walk someone. Maybe this amuses him. Who knows.
What we do know is that every time Brian Wilson closes, there is going to be drama. Every Giant fan is sitting on the edge of his or her seat. Usually Brian gets it done, though, and closes out the game safely and soundly.
But wouldn't it be nice if Brian retired the side in order more than once in a while?
Imagine if he had a pitch that was in the back of batters' minds when they started getting strikes on them. They might want to swing earlier in the count and this would let Wilson take full control of the game.
Batters know that most of the pitches that Wilson throws are over 90 MPH. His slider is effective at changing speeds but it is not a major difference.
If he added a change-up that was 82 to 85 MPH, it would drive hitters crazy. Just a thought for Brian, because it would be appreciated by us Giants fans and Bruce Bochy, who can be seem pacing nervously around the dugout during many of Wilson's appearances.
If Wilson added a change-up he would not only be more effective at getting saves, but he would also keep Giants fans from any possibility of having a heart attack.