Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Around the Diamond- Part 8- Right Field
C- Anybody but Doumit
1B- Garrett Jones
2B- Neil Walker
3B- Pedro Alvarez
SS- Ronny Cedeno
LF- Jose Tabata
CF- Andrew Mccutchen
Suddenly, the Pirates would start to have a decent lineup, assuming JR wouldn't switch the lineup everyday. With what the Pirates have right now, my everyday right fielder would be none other than Lastings Milledge.
This won't be popular among many, but I really have no problem with Milledge. As a matter of fact I love the way he goes about playing the game. He's committed himself to being a team guy and that wasn't the case the New York or Washington.
He hustles all of the time. I like his energy. Does he make mistakes? Far too many, but he's still the best option to play everyday. There are some very talented outfielders throughout the organization, but for the time being, the team should be committed to Milledge because he is committed to them.
His numbers aren't good. .255/0Hr/17RBi's. However, I suggest once all of these pieces are in place; batting him sixth or seventh on a regular basis. His numbers with runners in scoring position are outstanding. His .364 average with RISP shouldn't be ignored. As a matter of fact, he's pprobably the one guy on the team I would want up with the game on the line.
It's very odd how much his approach changes with nobody on. He simply tries to do too much. A good hitting coach should be able to work on this. First we need to get a good hitting coach. I'm not too concerned about the power not being there. He doesn't seem like that type of hitter, though I can see him as a 15 homer guy.
He may be the worst base runner in the big leagues, but again; good coaching can correct that. His mistakes aren't necessarily mental, but they are hustle mistakes. Stupid plays, yes. At least he is aggressive, which is more than I can say for most of the team.
Defensively, Milledge has come a long way. he still has work to do and can take a curious route to a ball every now and then, but Milledge gives you 100% for all nine innings. I think it would be a mistake to replace him so soon.
What are the options though? Ryan Church and his .186 batting average? He's driven in exactly 7 runs since opening day. maybe give Delwyn young a few more at bats, but in the end, it would be a mistake to take the job away from Milledge at this point.