he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Opinion: What to do with Milledgeh

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Opinion: What to do with Milledge

Over the last few days much has been made about whether Lastings Milledge is sent down once Xavier Nady returns from the disabled list. In a few rehab games at Norfolk the Mets opening day rightfielder is hitting over .400 with a couple of extra base hits. Nady was hitting .267 with nine home run before he went on the disabled list after an emergency appendectomy. When he came to the Mets Nady was known to destory left handed pitching, and struggle against righties. In fact, Nady has a career .316 average against lefties, nearly 70 points higher than his career average against righties. However, this season's tail has been different. Nady has a higher batting average against rigties at .269, while when versing a left handed pitcher Nady hits merely .258. Nady has also struggled with runners on this year, hitting only .80 with runners in scoring position. Despite Nady's struggles at times he has done a very job in the seventh hole of the Mets powerful lineup. In addition, he is only 27 and despite no longer being considered a rookie I still do because he has never had a full time guarenteed starting job, and when he gets back he once again may not have a guarenteed starting job.

Lastings Milledge is the man who has caused the problem in the Mets suddenly crowded outfield. Despite a batting average of only .241 Milledge has looked very impressive in his couple of weeks in the majors. He has two home runs, including a game tying home run off of Armando Benitez, and he has 11 rbi's which is half of the amount of Xavier Nady in significantly less at bats. Not only has he played well offensivley he has two outfield assist, although he does have one error. With all of those accomplishments being as impressive as they sound Milledge has also caused some unwanted controversy from the media. Milledge's high five incident has cooled down some, but nonetheless it did happen no matter how innocent it was. Milledge has also made a few mistakes running the bases, and he missed the team bus a few days ago and came an extra hour late. In addition, Milledge has struck out 14 times in only 54 at bats, which means he strikes out once every four at bats. However, he is almost as exciting as Jose Reyes and he is an absolute joy for fans to watch.

Cliff Floyd is the other injured outfielder who has caused some stir about whether he should be traded, benched, or whether he should remain on the field where he belongs. Floyd has a dreadful average of .238 but that low average is because of a terrible April, a month in which he hit .195. Floyd has significantly picked up his offense recently, hitting .270 over the last two months with double the amount of home runs (four) then he had in April (two). Floyd recently went down with an ankle injury, but he will return in the next few days. Floyd is 33 and has been injury prone throughout his entire career, so the occasional day off will help him out a good amount.

My solution is quite simple actually. Most people would agree that Milledge needs to play at least five days a week if he were to stay in the majors. Therefore, I believe that a rotation of something like this could work (this is just on a average week):
Sunday- OF of Floyd-Beltran-Nady
Monday- OF of Milledge-Beltran-Nady
Tuesday- OF of Floyd-Beltran-Milledge
Wednesday- OF of Milledge-Beltran-Nady
Thursday- OF of Floyd-Beltran-Nady
Friday- OF of Floyd-Beltran-Milledge
Saturday- OF of Milledge-Beltran-Nady
Floyd plays four games.
Nady plays five games
Milledge plays five games.
There are a few flaws in this plan, however. For example, this would leave no room for Chavez to get a spot start, and if Willie ever wants to get Woodward or Valentin some time in the outfield those opportunities won't present themselves because when somebody has a day off the other player gets the opportunity. In addition, Chavez has done better than Milledge in his time, and this idea could work just as well if it was Chavez instead of Milledge. In conclusion, this idea probably won't be used as Milledge is probably going to be sent down to AAA, but it was worth a try I guess.
By the way, what do you guys think of the new banner and colors of the site?

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