Originally posted on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 6/28/13
Is Wilhelmsen’s bad fastball location leading to an inordinate amount of hard hit balls? Tom Wilhelmsen has amazing stuff.  He has a 95-97 mph fastball and probably the best curveball of any right hander in the MLB.  In 2012 he had an incredible season; 9.87 K/9, 29 saves, and a sparkling 2.50 ERA backed up by a 2.89 Fielder Independent Pitching (FIP) score, which demonstrated his ERA was no fluke.  Out of the bullpen the Bartender was worth 1.9 bWAR and fangraphs.com pegged him as the 10th most valuable closer according to fWAR, ahead of big names like Jonathan Papelbon and Rafael Soriano among others.  There was little reason to fear a collapse from Tom Wilhelmsen—in fact, I am sure many Mariners’ fans felt the second most confidence in him among M’s pitchers.  I certainly did.  Fast forward to the end of June and Wilhelmsen is no longer Seattle’s closer; he has blown 26% of his save opportunities, allowed all of his inherited runners to score (2), seen his strikeout perce...
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