Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why is Ryan Church getting so many starts?

What is John Russell's obsession with playing Ryan Church so much?  Please, someone tell me.  Church should be the fourth outfielder on this team and nothing more.  He should be a left handed bat coming off the bench and nothing more. He is on this team to be dealt at the deadline.  Somebody will look into acquiring an extra left handed bat off the bench.  Why then is he taking so many at bats away from Lastings Milledge?

Don't say it's because of the DH either.  Even Delwyn Young offers a better bat to use as the DH rather than Church.

When you are sitting at 25-46, play your best eight players please.  Russell shouldn't be worried about keeping guys like Church fresh. He offers very little to this team.  He doesn't hit, he's average defensively and overall he appears to be a lazy ballplayer.

The Pirates signed him, hoping he could produce similar to what he did in 2007, when he hit 15 homers and drove in 70 runs for the  Washington Nationals.  Instead they got the guy that has combined to hit only six homers and drive in 53 over the last two seasons. If you look over a three year span, he's only hit 18 bombs and driven in 102 combined.  I didn't mind the signing, but it didn't work out.  Can we please stop running him out there?

Church's numbers on the season aren't good.  He's hitting .186 with two homers and 13 RBI's in 129 at bats.  Yet, Russell continues to bat him in the middle of the order.  He is a rally killer.  Batting him, or Ryan Doumit fifth in the order is asking for quick innings when the top of the order is getting on base.

What does he do better than Milledge?  Not much.  Milledge may not be the best defensively, but he's going to bust his butt for you, which is more than I can say for Church.  Milledge may make some stupid base running mistakes, but at least he's being aggressive all the time, which is more than I can say for Church.  Keep running Milledge out there.  He should be the everyday right fielder until the club finds someone better.  That option doesn't exist on this current team.

Sure Milledge offers no power, but neither does Church.  Milledge is at least hitting a respectable .270 and has driven in 22 runs.  He offers the team a much better bat with men on base as well, hitting to a .392 clip with RISP, while Church is hitting a whopping .161 in similar situations.  How does that go ignored?

Do I feel like Milledge is the answer to all of the problems?  No, of course not, but he is the best option at the moment. Now, Russell doesn't have great talent at the moment, but his sole job is to put his guys in the best position to succeed.  He is simply not doing that.  When your 21 games under .500, stop picking the lineup out of a hat and run you best eight guys out there everyday.  There is no reason to see Ryan Church getting three or four starts a week, while Milledge is losing playing time.


  1. Good article. Ryan church sucks and he's playing because JR is an idiot

  2. Agreed. Church is an F'n Bum yet he constantly hits in the middle of the order.

    Note to JR. Don't bat the guy hitting .180 fifth in the order. You wouldn't think that would even be an issue

  3. The picture is funny. it looks like he's sleeping before he goes to hit, which is fitting because most of the time it looks like he's sleeping while he's hitting

  4. Milledge isn't much better, but atleast he has the chance to come through with the bat. Church has no chance

  5. Church is a good ballplayer and a nice guy. he doesn't make mental mistakes

  6. Really. Church doesn't make mental mistakes? What about last year when he rounded 3rd and forgot to touch 3rd base, costing the Mets a game. I call that a huge mental mistake.

    Won't see Milledge do that. Church is a lazy bum period.

  7. I'd rather see Dy play over both of them

  8. Haven't we learned anything about this team yet? It's not about winning. It hasn't been about winning since the regime change. Discussions on the current lineup and management of this ballclub is totally futile. These discussions would only be pertinent if this team had a good management team and an owner who was committed to doing everything he could do to win. We all know that's not the case. Mr. Nothing doesn't know how to run a professional sports franchise. This is all about showcasing and facades. Huntington tells Mr. Mumbles what to do and when to do it. Mr. Mumbles, being the YES man that he is (that's how he keeps his job) does what he is told to do. The minors are basically bereft of talent now with minor exceptions, and what you see now is what we will be getting in the next 5 years unless Mr. Nothing chooses to open up his checkbook and get TALENTED veteran players in here to help these youngsters mature. That probably won't happen because any TALENTED veteran would have to have rocks in his head to come here and play. No leadership, no money and questionable off-field decision making doesn't make for a rosey future. Sigh!!!!!!!!!