Phillies Notebook: Phillies to watch Brian Wilson workout

ASSOCIATED PRESS Brian Wilson is coming off Tommy John surgery. He helped the Giants beat the Phillies in the 2010 NLCS, then win the World Series.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Brian Wilson is coming off Tommy John surgery. He helped the Giants beat the Phillies in the 2010 NLCS, then win the World Series.
Posted: July 25, 2013

ST. LOUIS - The Phillies will watch former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson in a workout tomorrow in Los Angeles as they continue an attempt to upgrade a bullpen that entered yesterday ranked at the bottom of the National League in most major relief-pitching categories.

Wilson was the closer on the 2010 Giants team that defeated the Phillies in the NLCS before beating the Rangers in the World Series. He has not pitched since April 2012, when he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow.

Wilson's last full season was 2011, when he converted 36 of 41 saves with a 3.11 ERA for San Francisco. His strikeout and walk rates that season were well below the 10.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 he had posted in 2009 and 2010, when he established himself as one of the top closers in the sport.

Wilson, who threw a bullpen session for the Giants on Monday, is free to sign with any major league team. The Phillies are one of a slew of clubs expected to watch him throw tomorrow. Their bullpen entered yesterday ranked last in the National League with a 4.36 ERA. It was also the worst in the NL at stranding inherited runners (36 percent had scored against Phillies relievers).

The bullpen lost some depth yesterday when the club placed Joe Savery on the disabled list with elbow soreness. The 27-year-old lefty had allowed two earned runs with six strikeouts and nine walks in 13 innings. He was replaced on the roster by veteran lefty Raul Valdes, who was demoted to the minors in May after allowing 17 earned runs in 20 innings. Valdes had been pitching as a starter at Triple A Lehigh Valley, where he was 3-4 with a 3.11 ERA in 12 starts.

Deadline talk

Every indication that the Phillies have offered publicly is that they remain in wait-and-see mode as time ticks down toward the July 31, non-waiver trade deadline.

Yesterday, the market continued to take shape as the Baltimore Orioles agreed to acquire Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez for infielder Nicky Delmonico, whom Baseball America rated as the club's No. 4 prospect at the beginning of the season. That's relevant to the Phillies because it removes a closer from a market where World Series contenders like Detroit and Boston are reported to be looking for bullpen help.

The Phillies have a potential trade chip in closer Jonathan Papelbon, who has converted 20 of 25 saves with a 2.27 ERA despite a strikeout rate that is down 3.0 K/9 from his career average.

Pitching probables

For the rest of the week: Tonight at St. Louis: lefthander John Lannan (2-3, 3.76) vs. righthander Jake Westbrook (6-4, 2.88); tomorrow at St. Louis: righthander Kyle Kendrick (9-6, 3.94) vs. righthander Lance Lynn (11-5, 4.13); Friday at Detroit: lefthander Cole Hamels (4-12, 4.16) vs. righthander Doug Fister (8-5, 3.90); Saturday at Detroit: lefthander Cliff Lee (10-4, 3.05) vs. TBA; Sunday at Detroit: righthander Jonathan Pettibone (5-4, 3.97) vs. TBA.

DN Members Only : A crucial Phillies series opens with a loss.


On Twitter: @ByDavidMurphy

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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