SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Somewhere along the way last summer,everyone stopped fearing the beard. Instead, Giants fans feared for BrianWilsons health.
Wilson wants to put those fears to rest.
I know Ill start the season healthy and finish ithealthy, said Wilson, after throwing 15 pitches in a scoreless inning Monday.But I know theres speculation.
As far as trying to ease peoples minds, Ive doneeverything possible to make sure the fans, the organization, you guys (in themedia) understand Im healthy, Wilson continued. Youre not me. Youre not myarm.
His arm looked fully functional against the Kansas CityRoyals. Wilson was throwing 92-93 mph and appeared to hit his spots. He gave upone single and struck out one.
Wilson had gone nine days since his last Cactus Leagueappearance, when he threw 35 pitches in a St. Patricks Day outing against theAs. The Giants backed him off with what manager Bruce Bochy described as armfatigue; Wilson threw twice in minor league camp, and gave up two runs onSaturday.
Wilson said his elbow, which limited him to two appearancesafter Aug. 15 last season, was not an issue.
That day my mechanics were a little erratic, he said. Iwasnt able to find an arm slot. I went from nine, 13 pitches to 35 pitches. Wefelt it was probably necessary to have a few outings of 20 pitches, monitored,to find an arm slot for the cutter rather than go out there and try tocompete.
Finding an arm slot has been Wilsons goal this spring as hepitches with slightly different mechanics. He sacrificed weightlifting forflexibility training this offseason and is noticeably more streamlined than inpast seasons. He said his troublesome back and hip have not been an issue forhim this spring and his increased flexibility allows him to throw with a longerstride.
Im used to pitching a certain way, Wilson said. Now thatthe hinges are a little looser, we have to refine the arm slot. That takes twoor three outings, tops.
In retrospect, Wilson said he should have thrown in minorleague camp from the very start this spring. But hes happy with where hes at.That includes his velocity, even if hes not sitting at 96 mph like in pastyears.
Lets be honest. Id like to throw 110, he said. But Ican only gauge on what the hitters are doing. I can see on a few of myfastballs, theyve been late. As far as Im concerned with getting outs on myfastballs, its what Ive been looking for.
Left-hander Javier Lopez said Wilsons progress this springshould be a mental boost for the club, which feeds off the closers energy andenthusiasm.
Its what we were all expecting, knowing his drive and hiswork ethic, Lopez said. You can see the aggressive style hes always had, butthe stuff coming out of his hand has that electric feel.
Lopez paused, knowing that Electric Feel is the title ofTim Lincecums entrance music.
Oh, I guess thats Tims song, Lopez said. It has anelectric look, lets go with that. Its the look he had in 2010. Its comingout good and you can see it in his body language and his confidence level.
Wilson likely will take Tuesday off and pitch Wednesday.Bochy has said he wants Wilson to throw on consecutive days before the end ofthe spring, and maybe even finish up the eighth before coming on for the ninth.
Wilson can feel the regular season coming, though. And hepledged to be ready for it.
I really like baseball, he deadpanned. Ive been itching.Ive been waiting for it. I know its necessary to go through the progression,to warm up. You dont want to peak right now. Once the season starts, its forreal and Im kind of raring to go.