Share This Page

SS Wilson credits luck with strong start

CINCINNATI — Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson won't take much credit for his strong performance to open to the season.

When asked what has helped him to a 7 for 22 (.318) start, Wilson quickly answered.

"Luck," he said. "I'm just trying to put the ball in play. Seeing the ball and trying to hit it."

Pirates manager John Russell, though, has other ideas as to why Wilson has been so productive through six games.

"I think the biggest thing is he feels good and he had a real sense of wanting to get going this year and he didn't this time last year," Russell said.

"I think the enthusiasm he had coming into camp to start with, and the way he felt about his body and the way he felt about how he's reacting."

Wilson's numbers — 8 for 47 (.170) in spring training — hinted he might have a hard time getting going when the season started. Wilson was never concerned with his spring ball stats, though, because he knew what was going on behind the scenes.

Wilson worked with hitting coach Don Long to lower the placement of his hands, which have been set above his shoulders for as long as he's played baseball. Breaking the habit and lowering his hands would help Wilson out in terms of timing, but the adjustment is still a work in progress.

"The last 10 at-bats, they've been in 10 different spots," Wilson said. "Nothing really feels comfortable then. It will be like that until we find something that really feels good. We're fortunate at this point getting some key hits for the team, just going up there and letting them fall where they may."

One of Wilson's hitting stats that really sticks out is his average with runners in scoring position. Wilson is 4 for 7 in those situations, with his most notable at-bat being a two-out, game-winning, three-run double that lifted the Pirates to a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals last week.

"I don't really care about the start," Wilson said. "For me, the RBI hits have been a big lift for the team. That's a big thing for me. I never really concentrated on RBI. I've been able to help the team out. The guys in front of me are setting the table and just getting the confidence that we can score some runs."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.