Feldman: Wigginton can help, if used correctly

Feldman: Wigginton can help, if used correctly

Credit: Getty Images

BALTIMORE - JULY 30: Ty Wigginton #23 of the Baltimore Orioles rounds the bases as he hit a homerun against the Kansas City Royals during MLB action at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 30, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Orioles defeated the Royals 7-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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by Brian Feldman, BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 12:08 AM

(BaseballStL) -- Any time you see a big, fat .235 next to a player's name under "batting average" you're never going to get especially excited. Throw in your team signing that person to a two year deal, and it's even less exciting.

But looking at stats as a whole can be extremely misleading. Take lefty reliever Randy Choate for instance. His overall numbers were solid. But not as good as his .158 average against lefties this past season, which is exactly who he'll be facing.

No, infielder Ty Wigginton hasn't hit all that much lately. Especially as a pinch hitter (.152 this year). But he did hit 11 home runs and drive in 43 in barely more than 300 at-bats. He's a veteran at 35-years old who shouldn't have any problem coming off the bench.

And at the price the Cards reportedly got him at - $5 million for two years - you're not expecting a star by any means.

So taking that into context, you get what you pay for; Wigginton can give the Cards a competitive at-bat late in games on a regular basis. If he gets one at-bat a game, that'd be 162 ABs for the season. Throw in a rare spot start here or there and I would guess he'll see around 200 at-bats this season.

As long as he's confined to being a pinch hitter, and not as a regular starter, there's a chance there for him to help. Honestly, who did you think the Cardinals were going to go out and get? You think Josh Hamilton was just waiting for them to come calling with an opportunity to be a bench player?

Being a bench player does not pay much. So you can't fault GM John Mozeliak for not wanting to shell out whatever it was guys like Scott Hairston were looking for. At this point in the offseason, many position players are still searching for everyday opportunities.

Finding someone who's willing to be a guy off the bench and not make all that much isn't easy. Especially when it's someone who's just a couple years removed from hitting 22 home runs for the Orioles.

When it's the 8th inning of a game and the opposition brings in a lefty specialist to face, say, Jon Jay and Mike Matheny doesn't want to trust that matchup with the game on the line...he could do a lot worse than bringing in veteran righty Ty Wigginton.

He won't hit .300 and be a star. But he'll come through just enough in those situations to justify the small price they're paying him.

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