Good for Brian Wilson; and Joe Mauer’s Future
Brian Wilson pitched in the Show for the first time since April 2012 in today’s 6-0 win by the Dodgers over the Marlins, and he was pretty good. He pitched one scoreless inning, allowing a double but striking out two.
While I don’t like any former Giants’ favorite jumping to the Dodgers, I can’t help but find myself hoping he is reasonably successful in Dodger blue. Wilson was a good Giant, a real San Francisco character, and while he really wasn’t that great a closer, except for 2010, when, of course, the Giants won the World Series for the first time in their history in the City by the Bay, he was a fun player to watch and root for, even if he did regularly cause heart palpitations with his 9th inning wildness.
I’m a little surprised to see Wilson still sporting his overly bushy and unnaturally black beard. With a new team and new arm, it seems to me like a good time for a new look. Still, the beard has been a great marketing gimmick for Wilson.
Meanwhile, I also saw that Joe Mauer has been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list after taking at least one foul ball off of his catcher’s mask on Monday. I’ve been writing for years that the Twins are killing the golden goose by playing him too many games behind the plate each season. See here for example.
The Twins have done better the last three seasons with Mauer, getting him significant playing time at 1B and DH. Even so, he still plays the catching position too much for a player with his batting talents and his physical size. With Justin Morneau‘s contract finally expiring, 2014 is time to make Mauer the Twins’ every-day 1Bman and in any event limiting him to a maximum of 40-60 games behind the dish per season.
The Twins have long shown well more than typical MLB loyalty to former team stars like Morneau, which had its advantages when the Twins were a smaller market team than they are now. With the Twins’ great new stadium and its new revenue streams they need to do more to put a winning team on the field every year than Morneau has given them since he got hurt in July 2010.
It’s time for the Twins and Morneau to part ways. Playing mostly at 1B and DH, I expect that Mauer, given his age and abilities, will add considerably more power than he’s hit with in any year other than 2009.