Former Giants closer Brian Wilson hasn’t thrown a pitch in Majors in two full seasons, but he’s now seeking a Major League comeback as a knuckleballer, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. The MVP Sports client, who will turn 35 in March, is eyeing a transition to the starting rotation with his new pitch and has already worked out for two teams.
Wilson taught himself a knuckleball in his youth and would often tinker with it even as a pro, per Brown, but he never used it in a game setting as a professional. Since setting his mind on a comeback, though, he’s worked to throw the pitch from different arm angles and at different speeds. He also grips the pitch a bit differently from the more traditional knuckleball.
A return to prominence in the Majors is somewhat of a long shot for Wilson, who has two Tommy John surgeries under his belt and hasn’t started more than one game in any single season since 2004 — his first professional season. Additionally, he’s never reached even 80 innings in a full season due to to his role as a reliever, so it’s far from certain that his body will sustain a starter’s workload over the course of a season. But, Wilson does have a career 3.30 earned run average over the life of 382 innings in a career that has resulted in three All-Star appearances. It’s not hard to imagine a club at least taking a flier on Wilson, given the lack of any real risk in bringing him to camp this spring. Fans of Wilson will want to check out Brown’s column in full, as it features several quotes from the always-eccentric (and now clean-shaven) right-hander.
This will be very entertaining
No, it won’t.
virtually everyone who has ever picked up a baseball has tried to throw a knuckleball. the problem is being able to throw it without any rotation every time which is really tough to do and why only a handful of guys have done it successfully in MLB history.
I hope his beard is bigger and badder than ever
He lost the beard.
He should look for it in the last place he saw it.
He can borrow Jeff Todd’s
Ha! Even Jeff would probably have to concede that Wilson is his beard superior. Or maybe Wilson’s just more dedicated to growing his. I now wish to know the answer to this.
thor would look better in red
milk is that you?
This is awesome. X.
This is what baseball needs! Said nobody ever
What’s your problem?
Surprisingly a Bucks Fan
I second that, he’s making a comeback, what’s the problem?
I second that, this is hardly news and likely will not come
The Dodger’s can have him again.
“Wilson taught himself a knuckleball in his youth and would often tinker with it even as a pro, per Brown, but he never worked with the pitch as a professional.”
Meaning he used it a little in the minors
Once you get back paid you’re not an amateur but instead a pro… majors or minors
Means he used it a little bit in the minors and it didn’t stick so he said **** it and when to something that would get him at the minors
The difference between a pro and a Amateur is you get paid
Pro doesn’t mean major leagues it means getting paid
You must have went to sf unified or something
Get out of the minors
Nowhere is the word “amateur” mentioned in the quote. It says he tinkered with the pitch as a pro and then proceeds to say he never worked with it as a pro. The statement was contradictory until they edited it to include “in a game setting”..
Hey lowtalker1 you might want to actually read the article before spewing your nonsense & talking trash to other commentors. You’re an idiot.
Youth=Youth. Not minors. As in, he had one growing up and had fun in the bullpen with it in the minors and majors but never used it.
Pro is short for professional. It doesn’t make sense.
Exactly what I was thinking hahah
I know, right? He tinkered with it as a pro, but not as a professional.
Poorly worded, but I assume that meant he’d play around with it in the pen and practices, but never during an actual game because he didn’t trust it. From what I’ve seen and heard, a lot of pitchers do this with knucklers.
ha, got me by 45 seconds!
I think what he meant (and you’re right, it’s unclear) is that he tinkered (i.e. threw it in non-game situations while a pro, but never worked with it (i.e. used it in a game) as a pro. Poorly written, but at least it makes sense with that interpretation.
Correct – He was messing with it in Dodgers camp during his final spring training before they cut him loose. Therefore I supposed he TINKERED with it as a pro but didn’t really throw it in-season (although I swear I saw him throw it a handful of times that final season)
Jesus…thank you. All they are saying is he tinkered with it as a pro but never used it in a game setting. In other words he probably messed around with it in the minors (pro) and even when he was in the majors (pro) but in bullpens and workouts.
He’s thrown a knuckle ball some before and toyed with it. He never used the pitch in games as a professional.
Ha. That’s on me for re-arranging some wording and not looking back closely enough. I noticed myself and updated a couple hours ago. He used to mess around with it here and there but never in a game setting, apparently.
Yeah he threw one a handful of times his last Dodger season. It was fun to see.
The Dodgers just read this and will sign him to a two year, $25 million dollar deal.
Nope – Colletti’s in the studio and Wilson ain’t Cuban.
I loved Good Vibrations and Help Me Rhonda.
This may be my favorite comment for this post.
This may be my favorite comment on this topic.
For sure. Don’t forget “God Only Knows.” Pet Sounds is one of the best albums of all time. Glad to see he’s making a comeback.
This shall be interesting..
Idk man. There’s about a 30% chance we will even hear about it again and a 1% he does anything. But who knows! Good luck to him!
Not mentioned is possibly the most famous knuckleball revival, Jim Bouton (brief though it may have been). And every bit as much of a character in his day as the bearded weirdo.
I think R.A. Dickey is the most famous knuckleball revived pitcher.
Did he write a landmark book about it?
Good one.. Another time. Another era and many here never heard of him, yet Bouton was a fairly hard throwing Righty during his days as a starter in the begining with the NYY, before blowing out his arm and transitioning to the knuckler.
There’s a movie
To be fair, RA Dickey did write a book about it. Just not landmark the way Ball Four was. Which is probably an impossible task considering the era and climate in which Ball Four was written, and of course its look at what goes on in the clubhouse was unprecedented for the time. We know a lot more about that stuff now.
bum once he went dodgers
Favorite personality in the game. Glad he’s making an effort for a comeback…Brian Wilson doesn’t throw a knuckleball, the knuckleball throws him.
In Soviet Russia, beard grow YOU!
I loved this guy. Such an oddball.
The transition should be smooth – he was throwing his meatballs with knuckler velocity anyway.
I mean, rings son
Really admire his perseverance. With the money he has made, he could enjoy retirement but still is putting in this effort. Hope he has success.He is certainly entertaining.
He must be broke.
I doubt that he’s broke. He made 42 million dollars in his career. I would guess that it’s just boring to think you’re not going to have anything to do for the next 40-50 years. Why not try to stick around as long as possible?
inb4 padres opening day starter
Take a shot. If he’s displaying the ability to throw it, San Diego is the place. And their yard helps.
Gotta love a knuckleball!
The game needs more knuckleballers. I miss guys like Charlie Hough and the Niekro brothers.
You can’t say Niekro on here…
The politically correct term is Niekro-American.
A lot of guys have tried to make it back to the show with a knuckleball, but not any of them really ever make it.
A few have but no not many.. Only Dickey and Wright are active pitchers who throw a knuckleball. And since the 90s only 6 pitchers have thrown it regularly and had success. But still it’s a very cool pitch to watch.
I wish he didn’t screw things up so bad here in SF, the giants usually have a pretty good track record of bringing guys back and it would have been entertaining to see him back
Red Sox can always use a spare knuckler.
Good luck with that, Brian
Didn’t AZ sign Thole? Maybe there is a fit.
I’m highly in favor of anyone who throws a knuckleball making it in the big leagues. There can never be enough knuckleball pitchers… unless you are their catcher.
I’m surprised all the ‘experts’ aren’t talking about his WAR.
Ooh. Sick burn.
Why would they? Whatever you feel about WAR, how would it apply to someone trying to reinvent themselves?
Miami might be a fit with that huge ballpark.
The second coming of Charlie Hough! Teams will be lining up!
Ha, I watched the Knuckleball documentary on Netflix just yesterday! Would love to see Wilson out there dancing knuckleballs after entire career of being an intimidating presence throwing fastballs by hitters, would be quite entertaining.
I hope he pulls it off, a good kuckleball pitcher is fun to watch.
Fear the beard. The knuckleball – not so much.
He can get shelled even more.
My bold prediction of the day:
Makes a comeback as a starter for the diamondbacks and wins the NL Cy Young Award