Casper Wells Struggle To Play


Casper Wells was designated for assignment Sunday to make room on the roster for Yoenis Céspedes. Céspedes was coming off the disabled list with a strained wrist. Wells has yet to find out what his next destination will be, whether that is in Sacramento or with another team. Wells, an outfielder who can play all three positions and has an excellent arm, only started in one game for Oakland and made a couple of pinch hit appearances. His bat has never fully developed but still contains raw power.

July 22, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Casper Wells (33) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Seattle Mariners defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Wells went over to Seattle in the Doug Fister trade late in 2011. He was able to play in limited action in 2012. Though his average was low his power numbers showed through and thus have made him an attractive addition to multiple teams looking for outfield help. In 93 games in 2012 he batted .228 with a .302 on base percentage but he added 10 home runs.

Wells has become somewhat of an interesting story this season due to his multiple transactions. He was designated for assignment by Seattle earlier this season when their outfield became overly crowded. He was then claimed by Toronto. Toronto’s GM Alex Anthopoulos is amazingly brilliant when it comes to the waiver wire in MLB. The object of the waiver wire is to get players who cannot find a spot at the major league level in one organization a shot at another organization who may need the player. However, in Anthopoulos’ case he claims players and designates them for assignment and tries to get them through waivers unclaimed. This process, if done correctly and a player goes unclaimed, allows a team to basically build a Major League team at the minor league level. The depth generated is limitless and exceptionally talented as compared to other major league teams.

The statistic W.A.R. (wins above replacement) is now being used more than ever. It calculates how many wins are generated by a player as compared to his replacement among the averages of baseball throughout a season. In simpler terms it portrays a player’s value in a more tangible way than batting averages and strikeouts. When a player is injured or optioned back to the minor leagues another player has to step in. If a team has a major league caliber player at most positions in the minor leagues ready to be recalled they have a distinct advantage over other teams.

It is because of this that Casper Wells went nearly a month without an appearance in a game. His struggle to find playing time has now continued in Oakland. It still remains unclear if a team will claim him or if he will end up in Sacramento. Either way Wells just wants to play.