John Russell has finally caved and will bench the awful Ryan Church:â†µ
Manager John Russell said Thursday night, after the team's hourlong post-break workout at PNC Park, that Milledge's recent performance has convinced him to stop what had become a conspicuously imbalanced platoon with Ryan Church: Milledge is batting .276, Church .186.â†µ
Finally! Church's horrible season had until recently been partially masked by a decent month of April and terrible performances by... well, just about everyone. But the decision to bench him is way past due. He's in his 30s and has no future on the team. He's batting .186 and wasn't that great to begin with. It's also likely that at least part of the reason why he's hitting so badly is that he's aging, so there's a pretty good chance that the Ryan Church the Pirates thought they were getting when they signed him isn't coming back anyway, even if it were worthwhile to wait for him in the meantime. There was no upside to playing him as much as the Pirates have, especially when it meant fewer at bats for the 25-year-old Lastings Milledge, who has hit brilliantly in June and July.