Phils Get Bench Help In Wooten

The Phillies were looking to add another bat to their bench for the 2004 season and found one. Shawn Wooten was a member of Anaheim's 2002 World Series Chapmion team and is now a member of the Phillies. Wooten signed a one-year deal and will take over the role that Tyler Houston previously held.

Shawn Wooten is a guy who has adapted easily to the job of coming off the bench. Many call him the perfect utility player because of the offense that he provides and the positions that he can play.

In his career, Wooten has hit .359 as a pinch-hitter, including hitting .350 for Anaheim in 2003. In the 2002 postseason, Wooten hit .474 (9-19), helping Anaheim become World Champions.

Defensively, the 31 year old can play first base, third base and can also catch. His versatility will come in handy and will allow the Phillies to have a third player on the roster who can catch.

Wooten was originally drafted by the Tigers in 1993, but suffered injuries early in his career and was released. The Angels signed him in 1997 and he moved through their minor league system pretty quickly, hitting the majors in 2000.

Phillies manager Larry Bowa believes that Wooten's bat and versatility will give him plenty of chances to get his newest player into games. "I would've liked to give (first baseman Jim) Thome a few more days off last year. If (recovering third baseman David) Bell hits a snag, we now have another option," Bowa said. "Having someone with Shawn's versatility frees you up as far as how you use people."

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