Thursday, April 21, 2005

Church Schooled

Damn, the Post beat me to it.

Ryan Church has stunk on ice so far this season, hitting just .156/ .229/ .250. I would say that those are numbers that'd make Cristian Guzman blush, but he's doing even worse. (How the hell does this team score ANY runs!?)

Last night, he probably had his best AB of the season (8th inning?). He battled the pitcher (Grabowski?) for pitch after pitch, and worked the count full before taking a called third strike on what was clearly a pitch high and away. (Freakin' Cheatin' Umps!)

Church has frequently looked overmatched, but at the same time, he's had a decent approach on some ABs. He doesn't look completely impotent at the plate as does Guzman. Still, he's walked just three times and struck out in nearly 1/4 of his ABs.

Defensively he's been solid, but not jaw-gapingly good. It's really been beneficial having him in center as opposed to Wilkerson. I know the grass in the gaps appreciates it!

I don't think Church should be sent down, but it wouldn't kill me to see his playing time cut a little bit, letting him get his feet wet slightly while the team sees what Terrmel Sledge's toxic bat can do this season. Sledge is a Terrmel is a terrific defensive outfielder, just compare him to JJ Slugish and it'll be apparent pretty quickly.

Sledge has hit well this season in VERY limited playing time: .286/ .421 (!)/ .643 (!!). Obviously, he won't keep that steroid-addled pace up, but he has a patient approach to his ABs that will serve him well, even if he's not hitting the cork out of the ball.

Frank needs to ease Church back into the lineup slowly, to see what he's got. He has the solid minor league pedigree. It's just that some players take a while to get going. All players go through stretches where nothing goes right. It's just that when they happen at the start of a career or a season, we have a hard timing determining whether he's unlucky or whether he just can't hack it.

Based on the approach he's taken to most of his ABs, I'm leaning towards the prior, not the latter.


  • re: Church---

    35 PAs, though. Holy Voros's Law, Batman!

    (I know, I know; the flip side is that Guzman only has 58 PAs so far. Well, that's right . . . )

    By Blogger Basil, at 4/21/2005 1:42 PM  

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