Pirates manager John Russell says Lastings Milledge 'looks like he's ready' to play every day

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For the past month or so the Pirates have used a quasi-platoon in right field with Ryan Church starting against righties and Lastings Milledge playing versus lefties, but manager John Russell said yesterday that’s going to change in the second half.
Milledge will now be more or less an everyday player, in part because he’s played well and in part because Church is hitting .176. He’s yet to turn into the type of player many projected when he was a top-ranked prospect in the Mets’ farm system, but Milledge is still just 25 years old and has hit .276/.347/.392 in 74 games this season.
Of course, that’s nothing special for a corner outfielder and his splits reveal an excellent .318/.431/.518 line versus lefties compared to a terrible .255/.297/.327 mark against righties. In other words, Russell wants to see Milledge play regularly because “he’s earned it” in a role that gave him favorable matchups but through 1,055 career plate appearances versus right-handing pitching he’s hit just .261/.317/.385.

Who is the fastest sprinter in baseball?

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We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.

StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.

Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.

That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.

Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE