The Giants appear to have suffered a major setback when closer Brian Wilson suffered an elbow injury vs. the Rockies. An MRI revealed structural damage that will force Wilson to the disabled list, likely for the entire season.
The question: If Wilson misses the rest of the season, how much does that hurt the Giants? The answer might surprise you.
For what it's worth, Giants manager Bruce Bochy seems to remain comfortable with the bullpen he's got. Here's what he said, via The San Francisco Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins:
"It's always nice to have one closer, but a committee works, too," Bochy said before Saturday night's game. "We've done that. We'll probably have to make slight adjustments as we go - who's available and who's not, those types of things. But we've got experienced guys who are comfortable pitching late in the game. This is certainly a tough loss for us, but the guys that we have could soften this loss - like the great job they did filling in last year when Willie was gone."
SB Nation's Grant Brisbee is in agreement:
From a pragmatic standpoint, how much will this hurt the Giants? Not that much, most likely. FanGraphs has Wilson tied with Nick Masset and Wilton Lopez in WAR, and I'm pretty sure those are computer-generated players. I'm not sure I want to go that far when it comes to assigning (or not assigning) value to closers, so I'll guess that the truth is somewhere between the closers-are-essential mindset and the WARcentric mindset. And that still means that this probably won't cost the Giants that many wins, especially if the status quo was Brian Wilson throwing 88 mph.