If Andy Wilkins was hoping to make a good first impression with the White Sox, well, it hasn't gone so well.
Called up from Class AAA Charlotte on Sunday to replace Adam Dunn, who was traded to the Oakland A's, Wilkins arrived with some eye-popping credentials.
TV: Comcast SportsNet Friday and Sunday; WGN Saturday
Radio: WSCR 670-AM
Pitching matchups: The Sox' Chris Sale (11-3) vs. TJ House (2-3) Friday at 6:05 p.m.; Jose Quintana (7-10) vs. Corey Kluber (13-9) Saturday at 6:05 p.m.; Hector Noesi (8-9) vs. Carlos Carrasco (6-4) Sunday at 12:05 p.m.
At a glance: Sale starts the series opener leading the American League with a 2.11 ERA. He's attempting to become the first White Sox pitcher since Joel Horlen (2.08 in 1967) to finish first in ERA. Jose Abreu needs 1 RBI to become the fourth rookie in franchise history to drive in 100 runs. Ron Kittle was the last rookie to accomplish the feat with 100 RBI in 1983. The Sox are 9-7 vs. the Indians this season.
Next: Oakland Athletics at U.S. Cellular Field, Monday-Thursday
-- Scot Gregor
The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder batted .293 for Charlotte and led the International League with 30 home runs, 69 extra-base hits and 274 total bases while tying for the top spot with 85 RBI.
"It's just been being more consistent and every day having the same routine," Wilkins said after joining the Sox on at U.S. Cellular Field. "The same actual swing every day has been the difference. In the past, you search for your swing, and if you're doing good you stay that way, and when you mess up, you kind of deviate from that. I've just stayed consistent, tried to stay the course, and it's worked out well."
At the major-league level, Wilkins' swing has been decidedly off. The left-hander did fly out to the warning track in right field during Sunday's debut against the Tigers, but he's off to an 0-for-8 start with 4 strikeouts.
Fortunately for Wilkins -- a fifth-round draft choice out of Arkansas in 2010 -- he is not going to be judged on such a limited sample.
"I'm just going to go out there and enjoy it," Wilkins said. "The stadium's
different, the players are different, but it's the same game. I'm definitely not
downplaying it by any means, but I'm just going to enjoy the moment and go out and play ball."
If the White Sox decide Wilkins isn't the answer at designated hitter going forward, they could try signing a free agent like Victor Martinez this winter, even though he's approaching his 36th birthday.
Or, they could try trading for a left-handed power bat like Pedro Alvarez, who has fallen out of favor in Pittsburgh.
Wilkins is used to being overlooked. Even though the numbers say he was the Sox' best minor-league player this year, Wilkins' name is nowhere to be found on all the top prospect lists.
"You can get really wrapped up in that," Wilkins said. "You've seen a lot of prospects in the past not pan out, and you've seen plenty of guys that get drafted in the 40th round that get to the big leagues. It's one of those things, everybody gets ranked in some way or another, but I don't really let it affect me."