* The Blue Jays would be very happy if 1B Andy Wilkins had half the career another Tulsa, Oak. native had when he came north to Canada in 1973 (RHP Steve Rogers had a 158-152 won-loss record with a 3.17 ERA in 13 seasons). ….
By Andrew Hendriks
Two days after losing right-handed hurler, Kyle Drabek to a waiver claim by the Chicago White Sox, the Blue Jays have picked the pocket of their 1993 American League Championship Series counterparts, claiming, Andy Wilkins a slugging first baseman who was cut from Chicago’s spring roster in order to make room for Drabek.
A year removed from hitting an International League leading 30 home runs with triple-A Charlotte, Wilkins, 26 is a former fifth round draft pick (2010) and, over parts of the past five seasons in affiliated ball, the left-handed swinging product of Tulsa, Oak has produced a respectable slash-line of .276/.349/.480 in 555 pro games in the minors.
With the power hitting Edwin Encarnacion shifting to DH in order to help prevent his back ailment from flaring up during the regular season, one of this springs dominant narratives has been a question regarding who, exactly, will man first base for the Jays in 2015.
Providing a steady glove work all spring, Justin Smoak has appeared to have staked a claim to the position. However in saying that, the 28 year-old former first rounder has managed only eight hits over 50 at bats since camp broke in lat February … albeit clubbing three home runs in the process.
Although fellow first-sacker, Daric Barton has slashed a modest .250/.341/.389 on the spring, his defense, although respectable, pales in comparison to the 6-foot-4 Smoak, and with both third baseman, Josh Donaldson and shortstop, Jose Reyes combining for 28 throwing errors in 2014, a quality glove man at first base will be an asset for the Blue Jays over the course of the upcoming campaign.
Wilkins, the veteran of 17 major-league contests, will begin the season with triple-A Buffalo, and with three option years remaining on his contract, the former Sox farmhand will provide Toronto with an interesting depth piece should injuries plague the Jays’ roster once again in 2015.
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