The 33-year-old reliever is an Arizona native, having been born and grown up in Tucson, before being drafted out of High Magnet School by the Brewers, with their seventh-round pick in 2002. It was approaching nine years later before he made his major-league debut for the Mariners in 2011. He was with Seattle through the end of 2015, before being dealt to Texas. He pretty much stank with the Rangers early last year, posting an ERA of 10.55 (!) over 21 appearances, and was let go. The Mariners picked him up again, and Wilhelmsen was much better there, with a 3.60 ERA over 29 games and 25 innings.
MLBTR say he “represents an interesting bounceback candidate”, and outside of that wretched half-season in Texas, he has generally had a solid career, with an overall ERA+ of 111. A right-hander, he has been particularly effective with the platoon advantage, holding fellow righties to a .206 batting average. It’s all the more remarkable, because Wilhelmsen’s path to the major leagues was a particularly circuitous route which involved two positive tests for marijuana, and a stint bartending at The Hut, a college bar in Tucson near the U of A campus. He also had an MLB no-hitter on his resume (shown above): okay, a combined one, being the sixth and last pitcher used by Seattle against LA in June 2012.
None of which will likely impact his chances of making the D-backs bullpen, or of the team posting a winning record. But it certainly seems like he’s an interesting character, and one for whom it’ll be fairly easy to root!