According to the Beaver County Times’ John Perrotto, Pittsburgh has expressed interest in the Nationals’ human strike out machine Preston Wilson.

Wilson, 31, split last season between Colorado and Washington, hitting .260 with 25 homers and 90 RBIs in 139 games. However, he also struck out 148 times, which goes against new Pirates manager Jim Tracy’s philosophy of having hitters who make consistent contact and avoid striking out.

Wilson was fourth in the major leagues in strikeouts behind Cincinnati’s Adam Dunn (168), Seattle’s Richie Sexson (167) and Philadelphia’s Pat Burrell (160). Wilson struck out in 25.7 percent of his plate appearances, the worst mark among the major-leaguers who qualified for the batting title.

Wilson has played 868 games in center field, 41 in left and 19 in right during his career.

The Pirates, though, would want Wilson to play right field as they plan to go with Chris Duffy in center. However, Wilson would be insurance in center in case Duffy, who has played in only 39 major-league games, falters.

The relocation of the New York Penn League’s New Jersey Cardinals (Class A) to State College, PA, while already noted in this space, leaves a fully functioning, relatively modern venue in the form of Augusta’s Skylands Park, completely vacant. Independent Thought’s Toby Boyce summarizes why hopes of a Can-Am league club playing at Skylands in 2006 are unlikely to come to fruition.