Tiger backup catcher Vance Wilson is hitting a robust .150/.250/.200 this year, with two extra-base hits in 92 PA. Just how bad has his season been? Let me count the ways:
- The Tigers are 8-17 in games in which Wilson gets more than two plate appearances. That means they're comfortably over .500 in games in which he does not, which, to be fair, may be as much of a compliment to Ivan Rodriguez as it is an insult to Wilson.
- His VORP is -6.2, worst on the Tigers, worse than Carlos Pena and Bobby Higginson contributed in their memorable time in a Tiger uni this year (though Higgy did his damage in fewer at bats). -6.2 the sixth-worst figure of any of the 93 catchers that have appeared in the majors this year (strangely, four of the five even more pathetic hitters are still on major-league rosters).
- His defense, by the only in-season measure I can find (let me know if you know a better one), has been mediocre. Pudge's, however, has been exceptional, sharpening the contrast when Wilson is in there.
I don't take much joy in belaboring Wilson's futility (okay, maybe a little) but it's something that's going to come into light when Rodriguez starts serving his umpire-shoving suspension (man, we're an angry squad). Instead of four straight of Wilson, why not give this guy a moment in the sun. He won't be worse.
[editor's note, by Jeff] The players sure like Wilson, according to Danny Knobler. Interesting, but in the end, meaningless. I hope we don't make playing time or personnel decisions based on who is the nicest in the locker room.