Tuesday, May 29, 2007

White Sox Signing of Craig Wilson of Little Help

The White Sox signing of first baseman-outfielder Craig Wilson to a minor league contract will likely be of little help to the team.

Braves manager Bobby Cox gave Wilson his walking papers after using him as little more than a spot starter against lefties and a pinch hitter, as Wilson's propensity to strike out, his sluggishness in the outfield and poor footwork around the first base bag precluded him from regular play. Wilson hit just .172 in 58 at-bats for the Braves.

Wilson, 30, has been effective from time to time against left-handed pitching during his six-year major league career, but the fact that he was passed over this year by the Angels and other teams needing help at first base or designated hitter betrays his reputation as a defensive liability. When given an opportunity to prove himself in New York last year he hit just .212 in 40 games. No wonder the Yankees didn't want him back.

Wilson's career year was 2004, when he hit .264 with 29 homers in 561 at-bats for the Pirates, yet the Bucs benched him the following year.

Wilson now assumes new duty as a deep White Sox reserve while playing for Triple A Charlotte. Likely as not, and barring a rash of injuries at the major league level, this will be his assignment at least until the September roster expansion or beyond, and may turn out to be his role for the remainder of his professional career.