Jul 16, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT
For the past month or so the Pirates have used a quasi-platoon in right field with Ryan Church starting against righties and Lastings Milledge playing versus lefties, but manager John Russell said yesterday that’s going to change in the second half.
Milledge will now be more or less an everyday player, in part because he’s played well and in part because Church is hitting .176. He’s yet to turn into the type of player many projected when he was a top-ranked prospect in the Mets’ farm system, but Milledge is still just 25 years old and has hit .276/.347/.392 in 74 games this season.
Of course, that’s nothing special for a corner outfielder and his splits reveal an excellent .318/.431/.518 line versus lefties compared to a terrible .255/.297/.327 mark against righties. In other words, Russell wants to see Milledge play regularly because “he’s earned it” in a role that gave him favorable matchups but through 1,055 career plate appearances versus right-handing pitching he’s hit just .261/.317/.385.
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