Diamondbacks Re-Sign Josh Wilson: Backup Shortstop or Bullpen Arm?

Former Diamondback Josh Wilson is back with the team, having signed a minor-league contract. He was cut by the Seattle Mariners on Monday, despite having played a career-high 108 games last season, hitting .227. He appeared in eleven games for the Diamondbacks in 2009, but is perhaps best known as an emergency pitcher, having filled that role for three different teams. He pitched a scoreless inning for Arizona in May 2009, but the following month, Wilson allowed Mark Reynolds' three-run homer and took the loss, when we beat the Padres in 18 innings.

What's the plan for Wilson?

This appears to be to provide an alternative to Tony Abreu, in the event that Stephen Drew's injury proves more serious than the "doubtful for Friday" at which he is currently listed [and has just been confirmed by the startling lineup for Game #1]. Indeed, the signing itself would seem to suggest this could indeed be the case. Wilson is primarily a short-stop, having played about 82% of his innings in the field there. He's not a great hitter - his career OPS+ is only 63, which is almost exactly the number posted last year (62), but has a decent reputation on defense.

All being well, and with due respect to Wilson, I hope we don't see him this year. That would mean that there is something significantly wrong with Drew, and the gulf between the two in terms of overall production is likely very significant. On the other hand, I am always entertained by the sight of position players taking the mound. Yeah, not much of an "on the other hand," is it?

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