Dodgers: Pierre Earning Starting Spot With May Numbers

Charlie JonesContributor IMay 27, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 23:  Juan Pierre #9 (C) of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by pitcher Clayton Kershaw (L) catcher Russell Martin (2L) and Matt Kemp #27 who scored the winning run after a bases loaded walk to Pierre to defeat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5-4, during the tenth inning of the baseball game at Dodger Stadium on May 23, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Critics of Pierres' abilities have spoken loud and clear early this season on how Andre Ethier was a much better choice for the starting outfilder position than Juan Pierre. Mostly pointing to the numbers critics of Pierre pointed out his low slugging percentage, his lack of RBI, and and lower batting average compared to Ethier.

I was ripped for my choice of Pierre to be one of the the starting Dodger outfilders, pointing out the little things he does to the opposing team when he's on base. I noted the numbers pointed towards Ethier as an obvious choice, but numbers don't tell the whole story. With Juan Pierre leading off, there aren't many RBI to have, and he has never really been a "slugger."

Now the comparison can begin. With both Ethier and Pierre playing the same amount of games in the month of May, both numbers people and those who understand that numbers can't reveal everything can rest assured I was right!

Without Manny in the line up the Dodger team has still thrived. While everyone thought their pitching would be their undoing and that the loss of Manny would send them into a tail spin, the blue collar work ethic of the team has come through.

And Pierre has led the way.

With a .404 batting average and a .472 on base percentage Pierre is proving his worth. With 22 runs, 38 hits, and 17 RBI he has almost double the production of Ethier. And, with only six strike outs compared to 21 for Ethier Pierre is absolutely clutch unlike his counterpart.

As the critics have pointed out before, the numbers don't lie. Of course, the game is played well beyond the numbers and luckily the Dodger gods saw it fit to keep Pierre in Dodger Blue to prove it.