Wigginton's role growing by the day

Ty Wigginton was supposed to provide the Phillies with some infield depth. Well, he's moved from depth to near the top of the list of who could be starting on the Phillies 2012 infield.

Ty Wigginton came to the Phillies to improve their bench. He could end up being a regular in the starting lineup.

With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley injured and Placido Polanco banged up, Wigginton's role might be significantly increased. He can fill in at first base for Howard, or at third base for Polanco. It's also possible he'll be in the lineup with Polanco, who can play second base.

"The way I look at it is that it's our job to come to the yard ready to play every day, and when the manager calls upon you, help your team win the game," Wigginton said. "That's been my attitude whether I knew that I was starting and batting in a regular spot or whatever. It's our job to be ready every single day and that's been my mindset.

"I've never worried about playing time throughout my career. If you produce, they're going to find a spot for you and that's how my career has gone. Everywhere I went, they say they don't know where or how they are going to use me -- and I (still) end up getting my at-bats. It boils down to if you help your team win ball games, you'll be in."

Wigginton was an All-Star in 2010 with Baltimore when he had 22 homers and drove in 76 runs. He hit .242 with 15 homers and 47 RBI in 130 games with Colorado last year.

The Phillies were interested in acquiring Wigginton in 2009 before he joined the Orioles. He was thrilled to finally join them this offseason.

"I remember when I first got the call and was told I was traded over here, I don't think I quit smiling for over two weeks," he said. "It's very exciting."

Rookie prospect Freddy Galvis is currently playing second base in place of Utley, who left camp Monday to have his injured knees checked out by a specialist. Utley is due to return to the team on Thursday, and his status is unknown. He had been hoping to play this week and be ready for Opening Day, but general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that's doubtful at this point.

Howard is likely to miss at least the first two months after a setback last month delayed his recovery from surgery on his left Achilles. John Mayberry Jr., Jim Thome and Laynce Nix also are in the mix to play first base along with Wigginton.

"You have to try to find someone to fill in and hopefully they'll do a job for you," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We've been very fortunate with that ever since I've been here. But at the same time, Utley and Howard, that's a heavy load. You have to keep going. What are we going to do? We have to keep playing, keep playing as good as we possibly can."

Ty Wigginton's career stats
Year Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
2002 NY Mets 46 116 18 35 8 0 6 18 8 19 .302 .354 .526
2003 NY Mets 156 573 73 146 36 6 11 71 46 124 .255 .318 .396
2004 NY Mets 86 312 46 89 23 2 12 42 23 48 .285 .334 .487
2004 Pittsburgh 58 182 17 40 7 0 5 24 22 34 .220 .306 .341
2004 Season Totals 144 494 63 129 30 2 17 66 45 82 .261 .324 .433
2005 Pittsburgh 57 155 20 40 9 1 7 25 14 30 .258 .324 .465
2006 Tampa Bay 122 444 55 122 25 1 24 79 32 97 .275 .330 .498
2007 Tampa Bay 98 378 47 104 21 0 16 49 28 73 .275 .329 .458
2007 Houston 50 169 24 48 12 0 6 18 13 40 .284 .342 .462
2007 Season Totals 148 547 71 152 33 0 22 67 41 113 .278 .333 .459
2008 Houston 111 386 50 110 22 1 23 58 32 69 .285 .350 .526
2009 Baltimore 122 410 44 112 19 0 11 41 23 57 .273 .314 .400
2010 Baltimore 154 581 63 144 29 1 22 76 50 116 .248 .312 .415
2011 Colorado 130 401 52 97 21 2 15 47 38 84 .242 .315 .416
Career Totals 1190 4107 509 1087 232 14 158 548 329 791 .265 .325 .443
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/22/2012.


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