Tag: Lastings Milledge
While Jose Tabata is certainly having an encouraging year at Indy, a .786 OPS at Triple-A should not be considered big numbers. He is hitting .316, but it is mostly empty batting average. Many fans expect him to be called up to Pittsburgh within a few weeks and inject some offense into the Pirates lineup. I just don’t see that happening.
Between Pittsburgh and Triple-A Indianapolis, the Pirates have a group of eight position players fighting for about five spots in the everyday lineup. Obviously, not all will pan out, but it is difficult to determine exactly which ones will succeed long-term. Luckily, each player comes with some versatility, which gives management some options when filling out a future lineup card.
Ryan 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.
When the Pirates acquired Lastings Milledge last June, most of the trepidation expressed by fans and members of the media focused on his poor off-the-field reputation. I was chiefly worried about baseball-related issues, namely his poor defense and free-swinging ways at the plate. He is showing improvement in all aspects.
I understand why the Nate McLouth trade incensed many Pirate fans. McLouth was a quality player and a fan favorite. He was one of my favorites, too. But once we get past the emotional reaction, we see that the trade of McLouth, along with the subsequent acquisition of Lastings Milledge, did not exactly hurt the Pirates.