Monday, March 21, 2011

San Francisco Giants: Brian Wilson To Miss Opening Day

With Opening Day right around the corner, the San Francisco Giants got the news on Sunday that bearded closer Brian Wilson has a mild oblique strain that could keep him out for Opening Day and then some.

Although Brian Wilson vows to be ready for Opening Day, the reality is an oblique strain is nothing to take lightly, and don't think the Giants don't realize this.

Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt went throught the exact same thing last summer when he strained is left oblique. Affeldt would be held out of 23 games.

But that's just how Wilson is. He's wreckless and crazy, which is just how the decision to have Wilson ready for Opening Day would look.

He won't be ready, and he shouldn't be ready. Fact.

Which brings up the next question.

Who will replace arguably the best closer in the game today?

Now, we are not talking significant time here. It sounds like Wilson may, at the most, be out Opening Day and then possibly a few games after that. So nothing major.

If we are going by how Bruce Bochy operates and has operated in the past, then it's pretty obvious it will be "closer-by-committee."

Probably a mix of Javier Lopez, Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, and Sergio Romo.

But allow me to add one other reliever into the equation: Ramon Ramirez.

If you remember, Ramirez had three saves in three chances in 2010, when Wilson got some rest after closing several games in a row.

He and Lopez were nails down the stretch of the season and into the playoffs, as well.

It would be obvious to throw Lopez into the closer role, after his dominace in the 2010 playoffs, but you tend to like your closer to throw a little heat. Plus, Lopez has much more success against lefties than he does against righties.

I'm not saying this is a long-term decision. Wilson will be back sooner than later.

But after the damage Wilson did in the playoffs, and the image he has now with his beard, comedic personality, and "The Machine," he has taken off.

He is the face of the World Series Champion Giants right now.

And when the face of your franchise goes down, there is cause for concern. No matter what the extent of the injury is.

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