The Ryan Church Debate

ed feverCorrespondent IApril 25, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 19: Ryan Church #19 of the New York Mets reacts aftrer striking out against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on April 19, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

The Mets have been waiting for that big two out clutch hit, and it finally came today, in the sixth inning of the game against the Nationals.

While the Mets were leading the game by a score of 5-2, most of those runs could be credited to the shabby Nationals defense, once again the Mets had left a small colony of men on base. Up until the sixth inning they were 3-10 with RISP and had stranded seven runners on base, David Wright and Carlos Beltran had combined to leave four runners in scoring position with two outs.
But in the sixth inning with two on and two outs, Ryan Church hit a two RBI single that broke the game open, for Church it was his second hit of the afternoon and gave him three RBIs for the game.
Despite hitting .358 with a .528 Slugging percentage and a .443 on base percentage, which accompanies center field quality range and a cannon arm for a tough right corner at Citi Field, Church continues to have to prove himself.

Jerry Manuel seems to have focused most of his challenges directly at Church, whether it was Tatis or Sheffield it seems that Church has continually had to show his boss his value. While he doesn't appear to be the type that needs to be pushed, all he has done since spring training is produce.

It appears that even the media is entering the Church debate, as some are like me, wondering what this guy needs to do to earn a permanent position, others feel that Manuel is justified in not using Church as an everyday starter, not against lefties that is.......

all Church has done is hit. He went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the Mets' 8-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday, raising his average to .358. And his defense in the outfield has been mostly superb. Still, when asked if he would play Church every day now -- instead of benching him against left-handed starting pitchers in favor of Tatis or Sheffield, as was the case Friday -- Manuel basically said no. source

In his one season-plus as a Met, Church can rightfully say he has given them everything they could ask for, and more than they had any right to expect. But only against right handed pitching, his manager could counter. And unlike Church, he's got the numbers to back him up. source Newsday