A’s call up lifetime minor leaguer Jacob Wilson as Chad Pinder goes to IL

When Chad Pinder went down with his right hamstring injury on the final play of Wednesday’s woeful 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros, I figured the A’s would call up Vimael Machin or Cody Thomas from Triple-A Las Vegas. Greg Deichmann has missed the past couple of Aviators games, but his name came to mind, too. 

Once again, the A’s front office zagged when I expected them to zig.

Oakland promoted 30-year-old infielder Jacob Wilson to the big leagues for the first time since he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. That’s eight-plus years of grinding in the minor leagues and Korea — 870 games and 3,517 plate appearances — before he got the call up to the show.

It’s hard to not root for a guy like Wilson, who has spent time in the Cardinals and Washington Nationals organizations before spending 2019 with the Lotte Giants in Korea. He’ll be on the bench to begin Thursday’s series finale against the Houston Astros.

In a hitter-friendly (crazed?) league like the AAA West, Wilson is putting up some huge numbers with the fourth-best OPS (1.016) in 49 games. He is slashing .288/.385/.630 with 14 dingers, 46 RBI, 17 doubles, 26 walks and 43 strikeouts.He could actually profile similar to Pinder at the plate in the bigs — with a lower contact/average but solid power potential.

Defensively, Wilson has made 32 starts at third base this year, 11 in left field, three at designated hitter and two at second base. I’m not sure how his defense is, but he’s 30 years old so there’s a chance he’s past or at the end of his athletic prime.

Wilson first made it to the Triple-A level in 2015 but had been yo-yo-ing between AAA and AA for a few seasons. Anyone who can stick with it for nine years before getting his call up has the right mental makeup, though. I wonder what the record is for most MiLB at-bats before a player makes his debut with the A’s.

Cheers to Wilson for his promotion.