SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Brian Wilson looks sharp while throwing and feels just as good long after he walks off the mound.
And he wants you to know it.
In his most expansive interview since hurting his elbow last summer, the Giants closer said he is 100 percent healthy and made it crystal clear that he intends to be waiting in the bullpen on opening day.
“I’ll be ready,” he said, eyes flashing. “I know there is speculation I won’t be, but if there’s a save opportunity on opening day, I’ll be saving the game.”
After Wilson’s impressive bullpen session Monday, his third of the spring, it would be hard to take him at anything but his word.
Asked to expand on the state of his elbow, Wilson said, “I’m going to be pain free and get the same three outs. And it will be exciting.”
A locker away, Tim Lincecum said fans aren’t the only ones who are excited for Wilson’s return to health.
“That’s the way everyone wants Willy—full of energy,” Lincecum said. “To see him healthy and worry free is good for us.”
Wilson is aware of the attention paid to his health, and he acknowledged it several times Monday.
“It’s not surprising at all,” he said. “I know I started (last) season on the (disabled list) and ended it there. There’s going to be concern, I understand that. I’m just letting you know there won’t be concern once the season starts.
“I will be ready, and I will be ready every game.”
Wilson’s exhibition season is slated to start March 11 or 12. Before then he’ll throw at least one more bullpen session and then face some of his teammates during live batting practice.
If all goes according to a carefully crafted plan, Wilson will throw just 10 or 11 innings this spring, and he said that’s all he needs to be ready.
“I know who I am,” he said, “and what I’m capable of doing.”
—Lincecum’s velocity was apparent during live batting practice Monday, and he was happy with his changeup, but his fastball was up in the zone at times. Asked to grade his performance, Lincecum said: “For right now, 8.5 (out of 10). Good, but not great.”
Manager Bruce Bochy said Lincecum, who dealt with back stiffness last week, could be ready to start when the Giants face the Diamondbacks in Saturday’s exhibition opener.
—After experimenting with weight gain last year, Lincecum said he intends to stay between 170 and 175 pounds all season. “I feel more athletic now, more wiry,” he said.
—Ryan Vogelsong threw off flat ground and said he felt good. Vogelsong had not thrown since camp opened because of a strained back.
—Bochy said Freddy Sanchez’s lower back flared up on him a little bit. The Giants remain hopeful that Sanchez can join his teammates during workouts on Tuesday or Wednesday.
—Buster Posey took a scheduled off day. “Like I said earlier, it’s a little country club we’ve got here,” Bochy joked.
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