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Pittsburgh

Church stealing valuable playing time

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In the following chart, an “X” indicates a game started for that player. Any combination of asterisks indicates a game in which that player was not available. Please notice the age and 2010 performance of each player.

Ryan Church Jeff Clement Lastings Milledge Steve Pearce
2010 wOBA 0.277 0.242 0.286 0.353
Age 31 26 25 27
4/30/2010 X X *
5/1/2010 X X X *
5/2/2010 X X *
5/4/2010 X X X
5/5/2010 X X
5/6/2010 X X
5/7/2010 X X
5/8/2010 ** X X
5/9/2010 ** X X
5/10/2010 ** X X
5/11/2010 ** X
5/12/2010 ** X X
5/14/2010 ** X X
5/15/2010 X X
5/16/2010 X X X
5/17/2010 X X
5/18/2010 X X
5/19/2010 X X
5/20/2010 X X
5/21/2010 X X
Total Games Started 12 8 15 7
Started/Available 85.7% 40.0% 75.0% 41.2%
* In Triple-A
** Injured

Church has started 12 of the past 14 games in which he has been available. Why would a rebuilding team give the majority of available playing time to a 31-year-old, well established 4th outfielder who is struggling, while younger players with uncertain talent levels watch from the bench? It does not make sense. Lastings Milledge is showing some signs of breaking out of his slump, with a respectable .337 wOBA in May. With Jose Tabata potentially arriving at some point this summer, Milledge needs to be in the lineup at every opportunity. It might be his last chance to establish himself as a starting outfielder on this team. Ryan Church should not be getting in his way. Church should not be keeping Clement or Pearce on the bench either. The front office has a limited amount of time to find out about these guys. As Charlie mentioned earlier today, playing time is a valuable resource.

Ryan Church Jeff Clement Lastings Milledge Steve Pearce
2010 wOBA 0.277 0.242 0.286 0.353
Age 31 26 25 26
4/30/2010 X X *
5/1/2010 X X X *
5/2/2010 X X *
5/4/2010 X X X
5/5/2010 X X
5/6/2010 X X
5/7/2010 X X
5/8/2010 ** X X
5/9/2010 ** X X
5/10/2010 ** X X
5/11/2010 ** X
5/12/2010 ** X X
5/14/2010 ** X X
5/15/2010 X X
5/16/2010 X X X
5/17/2010 X X
5/18/2010 X X
5/19/2010 X X
5/20/2010 X X
5/21/2010 X X
Total Games Started 12 8 15 7
Started/Available 85.7% 40.0% 75.0% 41.2%
* In Triple-A
* Injured

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