Is Ryan Church The Answer In Rightfield?

An article by posted on March 26, 2008

The more I see Lastings Milledge putting up explosive numbers this spring, the more I find myself looking at Ryan Church and scratching my head.

Lastings Milledge currently leads the Nationals in at-bats with 66. Ahh… Isn’t it great to be young and healthy? He also is hitting .348 with a .411 on-base percentage. He leads the team in runs scored with 13 and has 9 RBI while slugging an impressive .500 with 6 stolen bases for good measure. Did I mention he also leads the team in total bases with 33? Incidentally, currently no Mets regular player has an on-base over .400 or a slugging percentage of .500.

Now in the other corner we have Ryan Church, who just got his first RBI of the spring on Sunday. Woo Hoo! Rather than embarrass him by posting his lackluster numbers this spring, let me instead focus on my one big problem with him…

It is becoming more apparent as we move along this process that Church is not a regular player and instead is probably going to end up a platoon player as soon as Willie Randolph realizes he can’t hit a lick against left handed pitching.

Last season he hit a meager .229 versus southpaws which was actually down from his career average. In other words there was NO improvement. So far this spring, he has yet to get a hit against a lefty. <sniff, sniff>

We can’t cry over the loss of Milledge anymore. All we can do is admire what could have been and rectify our own situation by doing what is necessary to succeed. That means finding a platoon partner for Church that can give us some much needed pop from the right side of the plate. And no, I’m not talking about Damion Easley. What we need is a legitimate bat!

He doesn’t have to be the kind of player that will cost us a boatload, just someone who can give us 150-250 quality at-bats and can play a decent right field.

Think about this for a moment… You have a lefty on the mound and then after Beltran at clean-up you have Carlos Delgado, Ryan Church, Angel Pagan, Brian Schneider and then the pitchers spot. Brutal…

I think we need to address this before we get LEFT out in the cold…

Hey either way, the Mets still win the division hands down. All I’m saying is lets win the division by 20 games instead of 5 games.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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