The Red Sox will continue their search for additional bullpen help and one possibility may be in Detroit – Right-hander Alex Wilson a former Red Sox pitcher.
A recent BSI article by Damian Dydyn centered around various bullpen options, of which Alex Wilson was one. The Red Sox have addressed the rotation issue and now the bullpen needs some tweaking. Could that mean Wilson? The 31-year-old Tiger right-hander is a former member of the Red Sox who was shipped to Detroit as part of a package to get Rick Porcello. Let’s take a closer look at Wilson.
Alex Wilson is not the hard thrower that seems to be so popular today but does average in the low 90s with his fastball and sinker. Wilson’s main pitch is a cutter that he uses at a 53% rate this season. He tosses in a slider and change at a combined rate of about 7%. Both are apparently used as a “show me” pitch to let hitters know it is available.
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Wilson does keep runners off base giving up walks at a respectable 2.3 BB/9 for his career. The downside is a career 5.9 K/9. But Wilson also has a 49.6 GB% this season. His current 6.9 H/9 is a career low for his full MLB seasons and helps keep his WHIP at a 1.01 level. The numbers are good, but not spectacular.
The idea is simple – can Wilson add bullpen depth and what would the cost be? The first is obvious since just about any arm with a proven track record would be helpful. Amazing how an almost unhittable Joe Kelly of April and May can go in the opposite direction in June and July. You never know when a sudden pitching relapse will happen in the bullpen.
Just how would Wilson fit in? Tyler Thornburg seems to be going in the right direction. Ryan Brasier is a gem, but for how long? Heath Hembree and Matt Barnes have now trusted arms. That said the rotation is the generator since Chris Sale appears the only arm to consistently get close to seven innings. Hence depth and that comes back to Wilson.
The price could be the issue with Wilson being controllable through 2020. The Red Sox do have some prospects and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski will not hesitate to trade prospects for ready-made talent – just ask Jalen Beeks. Exactly who is not my realm of conjecture since what Detroit values from Boston is an unknown. But it is the way of baseball when two sides negotiate and DD has a way of working deals out.
Wilson would be a solid addition with his pitching history when healthy, and may represent a low-cost option to a variety of others mentioned.