When news of the Giants signing both Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez broke yesterday, a lot of questions from the fan base were being asked. I personally liked the moves, but judging from other opinions around the blogosphere – a far greater number didn’t, or at the least, we’re less than thrilled with the signings.
My initial thought, as I wrote about last night in this piece, was that the Giants were simply fortifying their very important bullpen. No more, no less. But after grinding my gears on it a bit, part of me thinks the moves were partly insurance for Brian Wilson and his creaky elbow.
As for Weezy himself, between the injury history/concern, the declining fastball speed, an increasing walk total and a dwindling strikeout ratio, concern has to be there on the Giants part. I certainly don’t want to paint Wilson into a doom and gloom scenario, but signs are there for potential disaster. Granted, it’s a long shot, but the likelihood of Wilson going Hindenburg on us when compared to say Sergio Romo is far greater and for a team that so heavily relies on an impressive bullpen, the last thing you want to get stuck with is Dan Runzler or Steve Eldefsen becoming an intricate part of your bullpen rotation.
Did the Giants sign Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt simply out of concern for Wilson? Not at all. But to assume it didn’t play a heavy factor in the decision, well, I can’t do that.