During tonight's game, when it came time to pinch-hit for Mark Melancon heading into the 8th inning and the Pirates had already slotted Gaby Sanchez in as a defensive sub for Garrett Jones, I thought to myself "well damn, what are our options?" (It's a little late, so I apologize for my rough maths)
Option A: Alex Presley - 37 AB's since May 31 - .270/.270/.460
Option B: Michael McKenry - 14 AB's through April 20th - .357/.400/.929
63 AB's since April 20th - .174/.212/.257
Option C: Brandon Inge - 28 AB's through May 1st - .321/.345/.357
58 AB's since May 1st - .138/.153/.155
Option D: Clint Barmes - 104 AB's through May 15th - .231/.273/.308
61 AB's since May 15th - .138/.138/.190
This is the tail end of our "best 25 players"? I find this very hard to believe. I understand that they present varying degrees of defensive value, but I can't fathom this. Is McKenry really a guy due to regress to a more palatable mean, or a guy who had a hot week in early April and has done nothing since? It isn't as though he provides some amazing defensive value.
Which, speaking of that, even Barmes' borderline elite glove couldn't save his black hole of a bat. At least through mid-May he was...tolerably awful, after which point his offense jumped off the cliff it was teetering on, and now he's started once in the last eight games. Problem being, he gets benched because of his bat, which means he is nothing but a defensive sub.
Same is true for Inge, is it not? I don't know. He didn't hit well enough to start regularly, so we stopped doing that, and then he kept hitting so poorly that we couldn't even start him occasionally. And I don't know that he's enough of an upgrade at any position to really be worthwhile as a defensive substitution.
So it would appear that our bench consists of a legitimate 4th outfielder, and then three other bench options; one of whom defends well enough to be a defensive substitution, none of whom hit well enough to start - ever - or possibly even well enough to pinch hit ever.
At what point do we give Ivan DeJesus, Chase DeArnaud, or heck even Charles Cutler the opportunity to see what they can do, versus hoping and praying that starting Barmes, Inge, or McKenry doesn't cost us a game somehow and that things magically start getting better for them? (I say Cutler because A) he's org depth anyway and B) we aren't bringing Sanchez up for spot starts).