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2014 Dodgers review: Brian Wilson

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

A look back at the bumpy ride that was the 2014 season for Dodgers relief pitcher Brian Wilson.

What went right

To Wilson's credit, or perhaps his agent's credit, he turned 19⅔ great innings in 2013 into $20 million guaranteed.

In 2014, the innings for Wilson were not great. But he did have a solid stretch in him from the middle of May through June, allowing just one run in 19 games, striking out 18 in 16⅔ innings, pitching the eighth inning or later in every game.

After the All-Star break, Wilson superficially had decent numbers, with a 3.00 ERA with 19 strikeouts and six walks in 18 innings.

What went wrong

The right-hander missed two weeks in April with nerve irritation, and his quote at the time was telling and seemingly applicable to the latter portion of the season.

"I wouldn't want to go out there and flip a coin on trying to get outs while trying to get my work in. It's not fair to the team, it's not fair to myself," Wilson said in April. "I need to get work in now at a competitive level without causing any harm to the team."

Wilson never again saw the disabled list in 2014, and his numbers on the season were not impressive. He had a 4.66 ERA and a 4.29 FIP in 61 games, and even though he struck out 54 in 48⅔ innings, he also walked 29 and had a 1.614 WHIP.

Opposing batters hit .259/.369/.402 against Wilson in 2014, the highest on-base percentage allowed by any of the 25 Dodgers to throw a pitch in 2014.

More troubling for Wilson was his declining velocity as the season wore on. He averaged 93.59 mph on his four-seam fastball in 2014, down slightly from 94.07 mph in 2013. But it was even worse later in the year, averaging 91.18 mph in August and 89.75 mph in September, per Brooks Baseball.

So despite those superficially decent numbers after the All-Star break, with the coin flip falling in his favor, Wilson was no longer the go-to setup man down the stretch. Instead, manager Don Mattingly deployed Wilson mostly for match-ups versus right-handed batters. Ten of his final 15 outings were less than one inning, and in his only playoff appearance Wilson recorded just one out.

2014 particulars

Age: 32

Salary: $10 million

Game of the year

Wilson struck out all three batters he faced, pitching a scoreless 10th inning against the Cubs on Aug. 2, a game the Dodgers would eventually win in 12 innings.

Roster status

Wilson and the Dodgers maintained down the stretch and after the season that nothing was wrong with his arm. The right-hander will be back in 2015, exercising his 2015 player option worth $10 million on Nov. 3.