Journeyman Ty Wigginton is one of the new faces around St. Louis Cardinals camp this spring. Though, the way he’s been playing the last several games, he might do well not to get too comfortable in his surroundings.
Wigginton is not doing much to make a good first impression. In 23 plate appearances — tied for third most on the team — he has just three hits with an atrocious .460 OPS. His batting average is second worst on St. Louis to catcher Rob Johnson, who is hitting .077 through seven games.
With guys like Matt Adams, Shane Robinson, and even Oscar Taveras fighting for a roster spot, Wigginton needs to step up his game the next three weeks or face possible demotion, or even an outright release.
But with the money invested in him, would they even do that?
Wigginton, a utility infielder, comes to the Cardinals as a free agent from the Colorado Rockies on a two-year, $5 million contract. He’s a career .263 hitter with decent power and a propensity to strike out a little too much. He struggles to get on base regularly, as his OBP has not gone any higher than .315 in the last four seasons.
Defensively, Wigginton plays best at second base, though that could be a tough position to get playing time at since Matt Carpenter and Daniel Descalso are both in competition for that spot. He’s also done fairly well in right field, where he may get more innings as the team’s outfield depth is a bit thinner than infield.
Wigginton has jumped around several Major League Baseball organizations in his ten-year big league career, never spending more that two and a half seasons with one organization. His best season came in 2008 when he played in 111 games with the Houston Astros. Wigginton saw a career-best in average and OPS as his slash line stood at .285/.350/.526.
Wigginton could be an asset to the bench with his MLB experience and versatility in the field, but his hitting needs to come around quickly if he wants to see some serious playing time in St. Louis.