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Pirates Should Promote Jeff Clement

Pat Lackey of WHYGAVS wonders whether the Pirates should consider promoting Indianapolis first baseman Jeff Clement, and finally reaches the conclusion that they should.

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The [Casey] McGehee experiment isn't working and honestly, it's time to stop treating [Jose] Tabata like some great unknown quantity that needs n at-bats before his true talent is revealed. Clement's hitting in Indy. Let's plug him in and get him some swings and see if he can bring something more to the table than a few balls into the right field grandstand and a ton of strikeouts this time around. He probably won't, but it's at least worth investigating at this point.

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The last sentence is the key, I think. We shouldn't overthink this. The Pirates can't hit. Clement probably can't, but actually does have a nonzero chance of providing some offense. Casey McGehee has a .575 OPS through 112 at bats. He had a .626 OPS last year. Jose Tabata, still has potential, but he has recently hustled like someone who has an injury. He probably ought to be placed on the disabled list. Given Garrett Jones' flexibility moving between first base and the outfield, the Pirates can add Clement and find some plate appearances for him by taking McGehee and especially Tabata off the field. Against righties, an alignment of Clement at first, Alex Presley in left and Jones in right could really help. Also, the Pirates have some road series against AL teams coming up, so they can use the DH to find Clement a few extra at-bats. Clement is hitting .321/.403/.562 at Indianapolis right now. He's never hit particularly well in the majors before, but the Pirates don't have much to lose here.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.