August 2, 2010

Keep Moss at AAA

Surprisingly, many in the Pirates fan base are calling for the recall of Brandon Moss.

Moss's season numbers at Indianapolis, .269/.334/.491, are rather pedestrian.But he's hit .351/.388/.757 in 18 games since the All-Star break including eight home runs and 30 RBI.

It is tempting to think Moss is turning a corner and finally realizing his potential at the age of 26. But there is simply nothing in Moss's record to suggest that he should be getting at bats over Lastings Milledge at this point.

Far from this being a breakout year, Moss has actually owned Triple A pitching since his age 23 season with nothing to show for it in the majors. Here are his career slash lines:

2007 (Age 23)
AAA: .282/.363/.471 in 133 games
MLB: .280/.379/.440 in 15 games

2008 (Age 24)
AAA: .282/.346/.528 in 43 games
MLB: .246/.304/.436 in 79 games

2009 (Age 25)
MLB: .236/.304/.364 in 133 games

2010 (Age 26)
AAA: .269/.334/.491 in 102 games

Except for his poor start this year, Moss has consistently owned International League pitching. Yet the results in the majors were the opposite. He performed very well in 25 at bats in 2007. The following year his numbers were unimpressive yet he at least didn't embarrass himself in a part time role. Then last year, he couldn't drive the ball or get on base. The more playing time he got, the worse he hit, which is why he has hit .241/.307/.393 in his career.

Moreover, rather than being some kind of improvement, Moss's 2010 is actually the worst he has ever hit at AAA.

At .272/.334/.382 Milledge is not hitting well this season. However, those numbers aren't so bad that this won't look like a good season for him given a good finish. He is historically a slow starter as he did this year, and is hitting .297/.350/.453 since June 1. Throughout his career, August has been Milledge's best month at .310/.374/455, a trend he continued with a single and a triple yesterday afternoon. He also is 18 months younger than Brandon Moss. If you're still hung up on Moss's AAA performance, Milledge hit better at Indianapolis last year than Moss ever did in that league.

I'm not saying Milledge is great or even that he should start in 2011. At this point in his career he has the talent of a fourth outfielder or platoon player. However, I see no reason to bench him in favor of a guy who has the talent of a starting outfielder at AAA and who has already failed given 716 major league plate appearances.

No comments:

Post a Comment