Playing time for bad players

Watching Milton Bradley play some really horrible defense in left field last night had me scratching my head trying to figure out why he’s still playing LF. His UZR is already -4.6. That’s not just bad, it’s scary bad. His UZR/150 is -31.6. While the small sample size problem is in full effect here, it’s hard to make any argument that isn’t that Bradley is nothing but a DH at this point in his career.

The problem with making Bradley the full time DH is that the M’s already have a full time DH in Jack Cust. Well, that’s not the only problem. He’s also been awful at the plate over the last month. Plus, removing Bradley from the outfield also means that both Michael Saunders and Ryan Langerhans will be playing everyday. And it’s not like either of them is doing anything that would warrant additional playing time.

Take a look at the season stats for the four players in question:

3 out of those 4 are playing almost every night in either LF, CF or DH. Even once Franklin Gutierrez comes back in a week or 2, half of the players on that list will still be playing in each game. But which ones?

For my money, I leave Cust in as DH, at least against righties. I’d also play Saunders in LF against right handed pitching. He’s convinced me that he’s never going to turn into a decent ballplayer, but at least he plays good defense.

Against left handed pitching the situation is pretty poor. Saunders, Cust and Langerhans are bat left handed. Bradley is a switch hitter, but his OPS is actually 80 points lower against lefties than against righties. Looking at the splits, it would actually seem like Cust and Saunders should be playing against lefties as well, even though neither would be doing so on a good team.

Is this a good time so ask why Adam Kennedy and Luis Rodriguez aren’t playing more? I’m also left wondering why the M’s don’t call up Mike Wilson and left him platoon in LF against lefties. I know he’s not a prospect, and that he’s just a AAAA player, but it’s like like he could be worse than the other options in LF, right?

So where does this leave Bradley? I’m not sure. DFA is always a possibility.

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Tags: Adam Kennedy Jack Cust Luis Rodriguez Michael Saunders Milton Bradley Ryan Langerhans

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