Dodgers activate Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, on rehab assignment for Rancho Cucamonga.
Brian Wilson, on rehab assignment for Rancho Cucamonga. (USATSI)

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Remember "Fear the Beard?" Well, it's now The Return of the Beard, right?

Relief pitcher Brian Wilson has been activated by the Dodgers, the team officially announced Monday afternoon. As a corresponding move, Scott Van Slyke is headed back to the minors.

Wilson, 31, hasn't thrown a pitch in a big-league game since April 12, 2012. Since then he's undergone Tommy John surgery and remained unsigned for quite a while this season. The Dodgers inked him July 30. He then went through a rehab stint in the minors, throwing 4 1/3 scoreless innings with a 0.23 WHIP and three strikeouts.

In 2011 -- Wilson's last full season -- he converted 36 of his 41 save chances with a 3.11 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 54 strikeouts in 55 innings. He was one of baseball's best closers in 2010.

Given that Wilson appears healthy and still isn't old, there's immense upside here for the Dodgers. It's unlikely that he returns to Beard-form, circa 2010, but if he does, that's one hell of a back-end combo with Kenley Jansen and vintage Beard.

Each and every one of Wilson's previous 315 appearances in a major-league game came for the Giants.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last six World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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