Jack Wilson, who hit .169 in a minor role for the Braves this season before being released earlier this month, announced his retirement after 12 seasons in the majors.
Wilson broke the news to Devan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, who covered him for years as the Pirates’ starting shortstop.
Wilson played for Pittsburgh from 2001 to mid-2009, making an All-Star team in 2004. He spent parts of three seasons in Seattle after being traded to the Mariners and then was dealt to Atlanta in mid-2011 before re-signing with the Braves this year.
In all Wilson played 1,370 games, collected 1,294 hits while batting .265 with a .306 on-base percentage and .366 slugging percentage, and played very good defense at shortstop for most of that time. The latter of which explains (or at least helps explain) how he earned $40 million despite a lifetime .671 OPS.
Andrelton Simmons has been sidelined since July 8 due to a fractured right pinkie finger, but it looks like he’ll be able to rejoin the Braves for the stretch run.
According to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Simmons was cleared by hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie to begin all baseball activities and could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Tuesday. Triple-A Gwinnett’s season ends on Monday, so the Braves will likely send him to either High-A Lynchburg or Low-A Rome, who are both headed for the playoffs. Barring any setbacks, the rookie shortstop could be activated by the middle of this month.
Simmons, 22, was batting .296/.336/.452 with three home runs, 15 RBI and a .788 OPS over his first 33 games in the majors prior to the injury. Jack Wilson was released yesterday, which is a sign that the Braves intend to rely on Paul Janish and Simmons at shortstop the rest of the way.
The injury-riddled Braves have secured some insurance for the shortstop position.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com confirms that the Braves have acquired infielder Paul Janish from Reds in exchange for minor league right-hander Todd Redmond. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that he’s expected to join the Braves tomorrow.
The Braves have been on the lookout for help ever since Andrelton Simmons fractured his right pinkie finger on Sunday. The need became even more urgent after Jack Wilson dislocated the middle joint of his right pinkie finger and Martin Prado was forced to fill in at shortstop. The Braves have called up Tyler Pastornicky, but Prado is back at shortstop again this afternoon against the Mets.
Janish is highly-regarded for his defense, but he owns a lowly .221/.289/.302 batting line and a .591 OPS over 975 plate appearances in the big leagues, all with the Reds. The 29-year-old has played exclusively with Triple-A Louisville this season, compiling a .237/.332/.391 batting line and .722 OPS in 49 games played.
Redmond has a 3.57 ERA over parts of eight seasons in the minors, but he’s been stuck at Triple-A Gwinnett since the 2009 season. He’s 27 years old and has never been considered a top prospect despite solid results, so he’ll presumably function as organizational depth with Cincinnati.
The Braves recently lost Andrelton Simmons due to a fractured right pinkie finger, so they opened the second half of the season with Jack Wilson as the only healthy shortstop on their roster. And wouldn’t you know it, Wilson ended up getting hurt last night against the Mets.
Wilson was forced to leave the game after suffering a dislocation of the middle joint of his right pinkie finger in the fourth inning while chasing after a ball which deflected off Tim Hudson’s glove. This forced Martin Prado to play shortstop for the first time since 2008. To his credit, Prado actually made a couple of difficult plays, including a nifty backhanded flip to second base on his first chance to end a scoring threat in the fourth.
X-rays came back negative on Wilson’s finger and he’s currently listed as day-to-day, but it’s clear the Braves need to get some shortstop help. Tyler Pastornicky is not considered an option after struggling in his first taste of the big leagues, so the Braves are expected to go outside the organization. Even before the injury to Wilson last night, Braves general manager Frank Wren told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is working on a deal.
UPDATE: Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Pastornicky has been called up from Triple-A Gwinnett. The Braves were giving Pastornicky playing time at second base in recent weeks and plan to turn him into a utility player, but he’ll function as a stopgap option at shortstop for now. Even with Pastornicky up from the minors, Prado is making the start today.
Andrelton Simmons has made a huge impact since being called up on June 2, hitting .296 with a .788 OPS and spectacular defense at shortstop, but the Braves rookie won’t be playing again until at least August.
Simmons broke his right pinkie finger in the first-half finale and the Braves have placed him on the disabled list, announcing that he’ll be wearing a cast on the finger for at least four weeks.
Simmons has been in the lineup for every game since his debut and his backup, veteran Jack Wilson, has barely played. Tyler Pastornicky, whose failure to grab hold of the starting job led to Simmons getting an opportunity in the first place, could be called up again to take his spot.