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Krusty
02-03-2006, 01:58 AM
A healthy Paul Wilson could greatly help out the rotation come 2006.

Wilson seeing progress in rehab
Pitcher throwing fastballs on mound, ramping up velocity
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- With his new-look long and flowing hair, Reds right-handed pitcher Paul Wilson knows he looks more like a hard rock singer or a skateboarder these days.
But Wilson remains every bit of a ballplayer, and he's finally starting to feel like it again.

Major surgery was performed on the 32-year-old's right shoulder in June, ending his 2005 season. Wilson was finally cleared two weeks ago to start throwing in a rehabilitation program at the Reds' Spring Training complex in Sarasota, Fla.

"When you get hurt, you don't know who you are anymore," Wilson said at Great American Ball Park on Thursday while in town for a checkup. "You're not the same ballplayer. You see your buddies out there playing and it grinds on you. It's a mental thing. It's the hardest thing."

Before beginning his program, Wilson was able to convince head trainer Mark Mann to cut short his own offseason to come down and work with him.

"There was some negotiating, some payments -- dinners and lunches and all that stuff," Wilson joked. "Anything that it took to get him down there, I was willing to do. Whether it was pay for his flights, pay for his meals, call up (former general manager) Dan O'Brien when he was here and plead for (Mann) to come down."

Mann said he didn't need much coaxing. He actually offered his services last summer.

"Paul is the kind of guy he's always been a hard working individual and had that reputation since we got him," Mann said by phone from Sarasota. "Paul is such a big part of our team and our pitching staff, you couldn't say anything but yes. The kind of character guy he is and what he means to our team, it's a no-brainer. This was something that had to be done."

Mann has helped Wilson with his stretching and working out. He has supervised a throwing program that has the pitcher working off a mound every other day and also long tossing baseballs around 150 feet to build arm strength.

Wilson has been throwing only fastballs from the mound and his sessions usually last about 60 pitches. Most of the time, he throws only with 50 percent of his velocity but escalated to 75 percent effort in the second half of Wednesday's outing.

So far, so good. No pain has been reported.

"Every week, I'm getting stronger," said Wilson, who was 1-5 with a 7.77 ERA last season before shutting down. "I can see and feel my arm getting stronger every week. I'm encouraged. I'm really encouraged."

"To this point, he's done outstanding," Mann said.

Rehab is a process Wilson has known far too well. In his days with the Mets, he missed most of 1998 following his first significant shoulder surgery in late 1997. Tommy John surgery on his right elbow wiped out all of 1999.

Reds orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tim Kremchek performed his most recent operation and Wilson has the unfortunate perspective of knowing how much medical technology has improved when it comes to fixing shoulders.

"The technology and some of the screws and wiring they put in my shoulder came about two years ago," Wilson said. "There are some new things in there. I could tell within two or three weeks after surgery that my range of motion was 10 times better. It took a few months to get my arm over my head the first time. It took three weeks to get over my head this time."

An 11-win season and 4.36 ERA in 183 2/3 innings during 2004 earned Wilson a two-year, $8.2 million contract signed before last season. Fulfilling the expectations that came with that deal was as important to the pitcher as it was for the Reds.

"It's not like I'm a young kid anymore," Wilson said. There are responsibilities and obligations, not only to me and my family but to this organization and this team. I want to live up to that."

If Wilson has no setbacks with his rehab or during Spring Training, he'll likely be able to. The Reds believe he could be fully healthy in April and be their fifth starter. With more off days in the early stretch of the schedule, manager Jerry Narron could begin with a four-man rotation that would allow Wilson extra time to get ready until the fifth spot finally comes up.

"Our goal is to have Paul Wilson back when he's Paul Wilson once again," Mann said. "We want to progress him and progress him at a rapid rate. But we want the pitcher we had in 2004 back. We don't want a guy that's going to go out there and struggle and not be the 2004 pitcher he was in the second half."

"I'm very confident," Wilson said. "There's nothing to say otherwise right now. We've mapped out exactly what we're supposed to be doing the next 1 1/2-2 months. We've been following that. We have goals every week and we've been meeting them. If things stay the way they are, I see no problems."


Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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reds_fan29
02-03-2006, 03:12 AM
Per Marc:

Ready to roll

Paul Wilson was in town today for a quick checkup before heading back to Sarasota to continue his throwing. Went down to talk to him briefly before he headed to the airport, and I was stunned at how he looked. He has dropped about 20 pounds since the end of last season and seemed a lot more energetic and fired up than at any point in 2005.

He did address the reluctance on his part to admit he was injured before he finally shut it down last May and had shoulder surgery a few weeks later.

"On one side weíre trying to be honest, and on the other side weíre trying to protect ourselves," he said. "I donít want anybody else to think that maybe I might be hurt or anything like that, nobody does. But there comes a point where, am I being selfish because I feel like I can get somebody out?

"Me going out there and competing Ė sometimes noble, but it probably wasnít the best thing, because ultimately our team lost. It came to a point where I just felt like I couldnít help the team, and for me to say that, it was tough. It wasnít giving up, it was just 'Iím not doing anything to help this team.' I was actually making it worse, because then other guys would press behind me and itís a snowball thing. ... I physically couldnít do what I wanted to do, and thatís a pretty bad feeling."

posted by Marc @ 8:14 PM 4 comments



i am still not expecting much from him this year, but who knows he is better than some of our other options :bang:

StillFunkyB
02-03-2006, 06:21 AM
If the Reds are counting on him, then they are in trouble.

I wish Paul the best, but I just don't think it's going to happen.

KronoRed
02-03-2006, 08:43 AM
Sleeper being a guy who might win 10 games and post an era under 5?

Dandy.

realreds1
02-03-2006, 08:46 AM
Sleeper being a guy who falls asleep in the dugout after getting shelled in the 3rd inning and thus having nothing more to do for the remaining 6 innings...

CincyFalcon
02-03-2006, 09:02 AM
I think Wilson will make a solid comeback this year, if he can get back to where he was a couple of years ago he can really provide some stability to this team...

Paul was on the news last night and along with other reports it looks like he is in much better shape than last year...Hopefully that translates into success...

Heath
02-03-2006, 09:56 AM
Maybe we could have co-closers - Milton AND Wilson.... :yikes:

flyer85
02-03-2006, 09:59 AM
I'd rather it be Matt Belisle

Johnny Footstool
02-03-2006, 10:32 AM
We've reached a sad state if we think Paul Wilson is going to be a difference-maker for the Reds.

The legacy of DanO = failing to cash in on fluke seasons from vets and deal them for decent prospects. See Wilson, Mercker, Weathers, Aurilia.

Krusty
02-03-2006, 10:54 AM
On the otherhand, IF Wilson and Williams can stay healthy there is no reason they can't win 10-13 games each. Hopefully Claussen and Harang can build on their 2005 performances and win 13-15 games apiece. As for Eric Milton, it don't get much worse than last year. If he can make that sinkerball work, maybe he can come closer to putting up numbers he did with Philadelphia.

Ravenlord
02-03-2006, 10:55 AM
what have we learned about using wins to compare pitchers?

Raisor
02-03-2006, 11:02 AM
Stock tip:

Start snatching up any company that specializes in bailing wire and/or duct tape.

shredda2000
02-03-2006, 11:03 AM
I wish Paul Wilson the best in his comeback...I hope he surprises all of us.

Raisor
02-03-2006, 11:03 AM
By the way, not to pat myself on the back, but I'm one of the very few that was against the Reds signing Wilson the first time, let alone the insane deal he's under now.

I know it's not fair, me being this good looking AND smart.

Chip R
02-03-2006, 11:08 AM
"Me going out there and competing Ė sometimes noble, but it probably wasnít the best thing, because ultimately our team lost. It came to a point where I just felt like I couldnít help the team, and for me to say that, it was tough. It wasnít giving up, it was just 'Iím not doing anything to help this team.' I was actually making it worse, because then other guys would press behind me and itís a snowball thing. ... I physically couldnít do what I wanted to do, and thatís a pretty bad feeling."

Yeah, this quote really bothers me. He kept getting shelled last year and resented any accusations he was hurt. When it was suggested he get an MRI it had to be suggested very carefully since Wilson claimed he wasn't hurt. Yet he kept going out there every 5 days or so and getting the crap kicked out of him. I know it's supposed to be honorable to play through pain and injuries but when you're hurt and ineffective it's time to get the arm looked at. This doesn't apply in Wilson's case but that's one reason I'm against incentive laden contracts for pitchers. But in regards to Wilson, how are we to know if he's pitching poorly because he sucks or because he's injured because we sure can't take his word for it.

Ravenlord
02-03-2006, 11:10 AM
i believe Joe Morgan is the one who said it, but it's a very valid point:

"You can play through pain, you can't play through an injury."

Raisor
02-03-2006, 11:13 AM
i believe Joe Morgan is the one who said it, but it's a very valid point:

"You can play through pain, you can't play through an injury."


It was probably Joe Morgan's ghost writer that wrote that.

OK, I'LL STOP NOW!!

:devil:

westofyou
02-03-2006, 11:19 AM
On the otherhand, IF Wilson and Williams can stay healthy there is no reason they can't win 10-13 games each.

So if they win 10-13 games each with a 4.65 ERA that will be just dandy?

Let's forget about wins and just face the facts, both are extremely easy to hit, both are overpaid and both are supposed to turn it around so the Reds can MAYBE compete.

Color me unimpressed.

Chip R
02-03-2006, 11:23 AM
By the way, not to pat myself on the back, but I'm one of the very few that was against the Reds signing Wilson the first time, let alone the insane deal he's under now.


Yeah, try not to break your arm, Barry Horowitz.

Ravenlord
02-03-2006, 11:26 AM
Yeah, try not to break your arm, Barry Horowitz.
does that mean Paul Wilson is Skip, and Dan O'Brien is Sunny?

Chip R
02-03-2006, 11:28 AM
does that mean Paul Wilson is Skip, and Dan O'Brien is Sunny?

I just shuddered thinking of DanO's face on Sunny's body.

Boss-Hog
02-03-2006, 11:35 AM
How soon some of us forget. Here are some snippets from last offseason from the same poster:


Even if Milton, Wilson and Ortiz can provide between 35-40 wins, the key will be the development of Harang, Hudson, Claussen and possibly Hancock. Then in the system, you wonder if Bong and Nelson will produce like O'Brien expected when he dealt Reitsma for them.


Anyways, the Reds are in better shape than last season. The starting three in the rotation (Wilson, Milton and Ortiz) should be able to pitch close to 200 IPs and hopefully add 13+ wins apiece


Darn right. For all the moves O'Brien has made and the reaction from several posters, you think they didn't have a clue to what they are doing.

The negativity on this board really stinks.


I like the rotation:

Wilson rhp
Ortiz rhp
Milton rhp
Harang rhp
Claussen lhp or Hudson rhp or Hancock rhp

I'm not trying to call anyone out. I just wish some posters would learn WHY these events were, and are, highly unlikely to occur.

top6
02-03-2006, 11:57 AM
Guys, I think we all - including Krusty - know that the Reds pitchers are abysmal, and that we are going to be terrible. It will take a miracle for the Reds to win 80 games. He's just saying, "maybe there's a chance that Wilson won't be as bad as we think." I think he's just trying to find any slight positive ray of hope - that's what spring training is all about.

Not that I don't agree with everything on this thread, but I don't think Krusty's seriously arguing that Wilson will be good. He's just saying "what if...", and frankly hoping for miracles is the only way to have any optimism going into this season.

The person responsible for these terrible signings is gone; now we have to deal with this team for a year. God help us.

westofyou
02-03-2006, 12:14 PM
He's just saying "what if...",

That's the Reds approach to pitching, that's the acceptance of basic normalacy that leads fans to think that Browning is an ace, it's the same pablum that the front office has been spinning since the strike.

The Reds official song has to be High Hopes


Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant

But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

Johnny Footstool
02-03-2006, 12:21 PM
"What if.." isn't such a bad question when you're talking about a number 5 starter you signed $600K per year. When you're asking that question about 4 of the 5 guys in your rotation, it's not good.

Krusty
02-03-2006, 03:02 PM
So if they win 10-13 games each with a 4.65 ERA that will be just dandy?

Let's forget about wins and just face the facts, both are extremely easy to hit, both are overpaid and both are supposed to turn it around so the Reds can MAYBE compete.

Color me unimpressed.

No matter who pitches in GAB, they will have a high ERA compared to other ballparks.

Krusty
02-03-2006, 03:05 PM
One other note, no one can predict injuries. And who would have known Wilson would have the season he did last year?

pedro
02-03-2006, 03:05 PM
Paul Wilson is a waste of the reds time and money.

You can't have a "comeback" if you "never were"

westofyou
02-03-2006, 03:06 PM
No matter who pitches in GAB, they will have a high ERA compared to other ballparks.

Aaron Harang at GAB .244/.298/.416/.714 - ERA 3.31 15 starts 100 IP

Ravenlord
02-03-2006, 03:06 PM
No matter who pitches in GAB, they will have a high ERA compared to other ballparks.
except for it playing like a slight pitcher's park, yeah.

westofyou
02-03-2006, 03:07 PM
One other note, no one can predict injuries. And who would have known Wilson would have the season he did last year?Everyone who posted about it a year ago when they inked him.

Boss-Hog
02-03-2006, 03:08 PM
No matter who pitches in GAB, they will have a high ERA compared to other ballparks.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?statsId=6936&type=pitching&year=2005


ERA W L SV SVO G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
Home 3.31 4 6 0 0 15 15 1 101.2 92 39 37 11 26 80 .244
Away 4.30 7 7 0 0 17 17 0 111.0 125 54 53 11 25 83 .287

IIRC, GAB is a fairly neutral ballpark that gives up an above average amount of home runs. But as Aaron Harang's 2005 numbers illustrate, good pitchers pitchers can not only win, but excel at GAB.

Ravenlord
02-03-2006, 03:08 PM
One other note, no one can predict injuries. And who would have known Wilson would have the season he did last year?
Bowden and O'Brien should have been able to divine such. Bowden knew when he signed him his rotator cuff was fraying. O'Brien did too. but with O'Brien, he signed Wilson after he threw an additional 350 innings with a fraying rotator cuff.

Boss-Hog
02-03-2006, 03:27 PM
One other note, no one can predict injuries. And who would have known Wilson would have the season he did last year?
Mid season 2004:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26490


I suppose I can live with a one year deal and an option IF there's no trade that brings in someone with a better future, but his bionic arm scares the heck out of me.


I wouldn't be totally against a one-year extension with a club option for '06 for Wilson, but his risk of another injury and the odds that this is a career-type year make it a risky proposition, IMO.


Again, Pete Harnish.

Didn't we learn anything when we signed Harnish to a contract extension after a good season only to be racked by injuries?

Wilson's injury history alone would make you leary of signing an extension for three or more years.

You called this one yourself - until...

After Wilson resigned following the 2004 season:

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29993


From what you're telling me, you would have never agree to Bowden signing Paul Wilson from the Devil Rays.

Darn right. I wouldn't have done it then, and I wouldn't have done it now. His injury history indicates that he's one pitch away from being retired. Now, that's true of every pitcher, but even more so with a guy with Wilson's history.
Risk vs Reward


Hate to say it but if you aren't going to sign a pitcher based on his medical history, I think that eliminates 50 percent of the pitching field.

So, if a guy gets injured and finally rebounds and has a good season, we shouldn't sign him based on he was injured in the past? Seems to me we should be kicking half of the pitchers in the Reds organization to the curb too.

Paying big bucks for pitchers is rolling the dice. The risk of injury and subpar performance is great. On the otherhand, the rewards can be great too.

If anything, a guy who rebounds to have a career year after having a career of injuries shows me that fighting attitude that I would want on my team. I'm not going to hold his past against him if he is healthy today.

You did an about face on your earlier prediction - which was the correct one.

Henry Clay
02-04-2006, 12:09 AM
That's the Reds approach to pitching, that's the acceptance of basic normalacy that leads fans to think that Browning is an ace, it's the same pablum that the front office has been spinning since the strike.

The Reds official song has to be High Hopes

I think the approach of the fans on this site cannot that easily be equated to the failed approach of Reds' management. Krusty and others wouldn't necessarily sign the same bad pitchers that the team seems always to sign. They are stuck with them. It's not acceptance. It's trying to put the best face on a very ugly situation that none of us has any control over. I can't blame anyone for trying to be optimistic at this point in the year. If I'm not optimistic about something now (before the losses & injuries start piling up through the season), I might as well abandon being a Reds fan altogether. As for Browning, the Reds haven't generated much better in the past 20 years. In a town full of ugly girls (or boys, to be P.C.), the one who is merely plain gets all the dates.

KittyDuran
02-04-2006, 06:26 PM
He needs a place to sleep? Well, he can put his cleats under my bed any day... [oh sorry, read the title wrong...]:devil:

Team Clark
02-05-2006, 01:40 AM
I don't care how great a guy Paul is (and he really is) or how hard he has worked. His "stuff" is still below average and he will get it handed to him mid May through September. I caught him in Norfolk after his first Major Surgery and his stuff was better then than it is now. He had his one good season TWO years ago. This is Jimmy Haynes II. He'll get by the first 6 weeks until the hitters get 130-150 AB's under their belt. After that the old "well I was hurt excuse" will not work any more. Sorry folks. Just tellin' it like it is.

M2
02-05-2006, 01:52 AM
Paul Wilson is a waste of the reds time and money.

You can't have a "comeback" if you "never were"

Exactly.

KronoRed
02-05-2006, 10:19 AM
He needs a place to sleep? Well, he can put his cleats under my bed any day... [oh sorry, read the title wrong...]:devil:
:eek: :bang:

KittyDuran
02-05-2006, 10:40 AM
:eek: :bang:Sorry, K - have some apple juice? ;)

Chip R
02-05-2006, 11:57 AM
I don't care how great a guy Paul is (and he really is) or how hard he has worked. His "stuff" is still below average and he will get it handed to him mid May through September. I caught him in Norfolk after his first Major Surgery and his stuff was better then than it is now. He had his one good season TWO years ago. This is Jimmy Haynes II. He'll get by the first 6 weeks until the hitters get 130-150 AB's under their belt. After that the old "well I was hurt excuse" will not work any more. Sorry folks. Just tellin' it like it is.

Thank you! I am so sick of guys like him being re-signed because he's "good in the clubhouse" or he's a "hard worker" or he provides "veteran leadership". What I would like to see is guys being signed because they can actually perform.

I guess re-signing Wilson was one of the moves DanO made when he was being "held back" by Allen and Lindner. ;)

westofyou
02-05-2006, 12:14 PM
Krusty and others wouldn't necessarily sign the same bad pitchers that the team seems always to sign.

That's debatable, this site is fraught with numerous pitching assumptions that get proven wrong year after year.

jmcclain19
02-06-2006, 04:40 AM
I'll step up and say I thought the Wilson re-signing was a smart move at the time.

I thought his pre-All Star break 04 numbers could be repeated. His numbers had been improving every season for 3 straight and I thought it could be maintained.

At 4 mil per, if he could have been just a league average starter that would have been acceptable at that price.

In following that line of thinking I ignored the peripherals that screamed that Wilson was in trouble. Of course the later info that his arm was held on by fishing line & scotch tape certainly didn't help things in the slightest. I was wrong, horribly so in this case, but not too many people seems to chime up around here when they make glaring prediction errors, only chiming up when they’ve been proven right.

I see him going the way of the Dodo before June. I'm hoping I'm wrong because I genuinely like Wilson. But fool me once shame on you, fool me twice.....

Raisor
02-06-2006, 07:03 AM
. I was wrong, horribly so in this case, but not too many people seems to chime up around here when they make glaring prediction errors, only chiming up when theyíve been proven right.

...
Hey! I resemble that remark!

:D

membengal
02-06-2006, 09:11 AM
Hey, is this the thread for that?

Because, if so, I was a defender of the Milton signing. In my defense, I thought he would be able to hang around his career norms in terms of ERA. My bad. I was wrong. Wrongness personified. Wrongy wrong wrong.

Wrong.