Brian Wilson's scheduled to come off the disabled list on Wednesday, and threw a simulated game on Sunday night. How'd it go?
Well, apparently he was breathing fire. Literally.
"I saw fire coming out of his nose," Mike Fontenot, who faced Wilson, said.
Well, that's certainly an interesting, albeit entirely plausible, site to think about. Wilson's reply -- "My nose? That's not a good sign." -- is perfectly typical of the closer.
And probably true, actually. But his performance in the simulation was a good sign; though it's really impossible to tell anything from just batting practice, Wilson threw well, moved off the mound and appeared to have his full strength back.
In fact, Wilson said he's been "back" for quite some time.
"I've been ready for two weeks," Wilson said.
He also added that his next time on the mound "will be" during a real game, although the team's indicated that it needs to see how Wilson's side feels Monday before officially green-lighting him.
And at this point, that seems pretty likely, and could even be Wednesday, if a situation that calls for him to close crops up against the Padres.
Of course, he might not necessarily have to enter in a save situation -- Bruce Bochy could end up using him in a spot with less pressure (think something like a 5-0 lead, etc) to give him some time to get acclimated to a live game scenario.
Regardless, the team will be cautious with him. Why? Well, first, look how they've handled him thus far. If Wilson had his druthers, he would have started the season on the regular roster. And secondly, look no further than Evan Longoria, who the Tampa Bay Rays just placed on the DL with a strained oblique.
Longoria will miss "about three weeks," and possibly longer, depending on how the muscle feels. The lesson, of course, is that oblique strains, as we've been saying, aren't something that magically heal themselves just over time.
But they are something that needs to be properly healed before diving right back into baseball. Otherwise it's a recipe for a long-term nightmare.