Sports Out West

Will Brian Wilson make an impact for the Dodgers?

Photo Credit: Alex Gallardo/The News-Times

The Los Angeles Dodgers are on the verge of calling up former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson from the minors this weekend, according to a report by Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.

Since signing a minor league deal with the Dodgers on July 30, Wilson has appeared in four minor league games. In these outings at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Albuquerque, he’s gone 4 1/3 innings without allowing a run or walk. Given his clean slate of solid appearances, he’s ready to join the major league roster soon as the report noted.

When he does get called up, whenever that may be, what will his role be in the Dodgers bullpen? Given his return from Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers cannot expect too much from Wilson. Thankfully the team’s top pitchers in the bullpen have been solid.

The Dodgers’ top three relievers are set and have been solid all season. Since earning the closer role over Brandon League, Kenley Jansen has been electric and nearly perfect. His two setup men have been great too, as right-hander Ronald Belisario and left-hander J.P. Howell make up a nice eighth-inning crew.

Now as for the bottom of the totem pole of the Dodgers’ bullpen, there is potential room for improvement. Los Angeles doesn’t expect Wilson to come in as a main contributor in August, September and the playoffs. A role like this would be best suited for him to come back from his major surgery.

When Wilson joins the team, the Dodgers will likely send down a reliever to make room. The two most likely candidates are rookie Chris Withrow and former Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Marmol.

Withrow has been an impressive young arm in his handful of appearances. Marmol, on the other hand, has struggled just like his poor performances with the Cubs. Losing Marmol for Wilson seems like a no-brainer.

Settling into a middle relief role is where Wilson belongs at this point of his career. Looking healthy in his minor league outings, he’ll be joining a team that’s been on a great roll recently, which should help him appear in less high-stress situations. Filling this role admirably will be the impact the Dodgers hope Wilson provides.

Photo Credit: Alex Gallardo/The News-Times

Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.
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Austin Chang

Austin Chang is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and RamsTalk. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.