August 15, 2010

Has Lastings Milledge Lost His Job?

When the Pirates traded for Lastings Milledge, clearly they hoped he would be part of their young core going forward. That hasn't materialized.

Milledge started 85 of the first 110 games in the outfield. Of course nothing was announced about Milledge losing his job but of the past six games, he started only two.

All season, Milledge has run the bases basically like a guy who has never watched a baseball game much less played in one. Friday night he failed to advance to second on a wild pitch, which directly led to a game ending double play. Then before Saturday's game, Tony Beasley announced that all players would be expected to practice baserunning during batting practice every day, and Milledge was back out of the lineup. The reason is a bit transparent.

Maybe mistakes like this could be forgiven in exchange for the benefit a big bat, but Milledge is a corner outfielder who has three home runs all year along with a .371 slugging percentage and a .331 on base percentage.

Overall, nothing in the Pirates' recent actions suggests that Milledge is the right fielder for the rest of 2010 or 2011 much less the future. Apart from simply using his backup Delwyn Young, they also have moved Garrett Jones back to right field twice this week, taught the position to Ryan Doumit, and traded for yet another player who can play right field, John Bowker (who is raking in AAA).

Options for the spot in 2011 are as follows:

1. A free agent signing;
2. A trade (unlikely unless Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek is moved);
3. Giving Milledge the job again;
4. An utter crapfest spring training competition between Milledge, Bowker, Doumit, Young and Clement for the last starting lineup spot.

I would prefer option 1 but considering how things tend to go in these parts, option 4 looks damn likely.


  1. What a rough series/trip. I definitely hope Lastings isn't our RF next year.

  2. Hey, Thanks for the comment on my blog. Dibble is a huge idiot and I'm glad you agree =) Love your blog! I'm sorry I haven't seen it before until now. I will definitely continue to read it. I'm with you on Milledge. I love the guy as a person, but the Pirates have so many better options in RF then him. Bowker and Moss are both raking in AAA and deserve a call-up to fight for that spot for next season. A lot needs to be figured out during the rest of the season.