SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Bruce Bochy offered Giants fans a glimmer of hope that closer Brian Wilson could pitch again for the ballclub someday.
Bochy spent an hour Wednesday addressing members of the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, who typically gather to hear famous authors, scientists or politicians. During a period when Bochy answered written questions from the audience, moderator Roy Eisenhardt, the former A's president, noted that he received multiple queries about the same subject: Wilson, the popular reliever who's recovering from his second Tommy John elbow surgery.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean expressed doubt last month that the team would re-sign Wilson, given the arduous rehabilitation the bearded closer faces. Emphasizing that Sabean decides which players to sign, Bochy said, "I can't say that [Wilson] will be back." But, Bochy added, "I can't say the door's closed on Brian Wilson. ... I don't think that's completely shut."
Wilson's health will be the decisive factor. It's apparent that neither the Giants nor any other team will sign Wilson until he proves that he has regained most or all of his arm strength. That probably won't happen for at least a few months, since he's less than a year removed from surgery. Wilson threw for the New York Mets last month, who reportedly were not impressed with what they saw.
Speaking with reporters, Bochy fielded a handful of other topics:
• Bochy said that he spoke last week with Pablo Sandoval, after the third baseman finished playing a seven-game series with Magallanes in the finals of the Venezuelan Winter League playoffs. Did Bochy ask Sandoval about his weight? "Yep." Was Bochy satisfied with Sandoval's response? "Yep."
• Bochy and his staff will carefully watch the nine players who are on provisional rosters for the World Baseball Classic.
"We won't let them go if we don't think they're ready. particularly the pitchers," Bochy said. "But they'll be in good hands where they're going."
The Giants who are tentatively scheduled to leave for the Classic in early March are Sandoval, Jose Mijares and Marco Scutaro (Venezuela), Javier Lopez and Angel Pagan (Puerto Rico), Jeremy Affeldt and Ryan Vogelsong (United States), Sergio Romo (Mexico) and Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic).
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com.