It’s been an ugly postseason for the Rangers ace, and that’s left a sour taste for the guy labeled as the best starting pitcher heading for free agency this winter (assuming CC Sabathia never gets there, of course).
“I’m somewhat of an optimist,” Wilson said, “but at the same time being a realist, obviously it hasn’t gone as well as I would have liked… But there’s a lot of good that’s come of it in terms of personal development. I feel like I’ve learned a little bit more mechanically. At this point in the season, I’ve thrown 250 innings or something like that, so it’s the refinement that you get as a starting pitcher from continually going out there and throwing.”
Even before his 7.17 ERA this postseason, there were already questions about whether Wilson should be considered a true top-of-the-rotation starter. Those questions came despite consecutive outstanding regular seasons, and despite solid results in last year’s playoffs. This October, Wilson has played into the critics’ hands, and he’s gained some critics even in Dallas-Fort Worth, where a local columnist wrote today that the Rangers should not pursue Wilson this winter, not even a little bit.
What about the Yankees? Should they be scared off by Wilson’s October?
Brian Cashman has made it clear that starting pitching is a priority, and the free agent market is thin. Yu Darvish is unproven, Mark Buehrle turns 33 in March (and has never been a prototypical ace), and there is that lingering chance that Sabathia won’t return.
Could Wilson show enough tonight to ease concerns about making a long-term commitment to a guy who’s only been a starting pitcher two years and is quickly developing a spotty postseason rotation? There is not a lengthy rotation track record with Wilson, so one rocky October carries weight.
Associated Press photo