Should Manny Ramirez play right away when he comes back?

Juan Pierre has been the consummate professional for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Waiting his turn on the bench and playing superbly when he has been inserted into the starting lineup. There has been a lot of discussion about whether Manny should get his starting position back the second he is eligible to play again. To me the answer is simple, but with the way Pierre has been playing thus far this season the statistics may not verify that. Take a look at Matt Kemp, Andre Eithier, Manny Ramirez and Juan Pierre’s numbers projected for a 162 game season.

AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS
552 132 192 54 0 36 120 156 102 0 .348 .492 .641 1.133
545 87 176 35 7 0 56 40 42 42 .323 .384 .414 .798
605 91 188 22 11 22 89 60 153 39 .311 .373 .489 .862
587 85 153 33 2 31 109 79 118 9 .261 .357 .481 .838

I think it is pretty obvious who the players are based on their statistics, since all four are completely different players, but what 3 do you think deserve to start? I would say players 1, 3 and 4, who are Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. It was tempting to choose Juan Pierre because of his higher BA but even with a 60 point lead over Andre Ethier he only has a 27 point lead in OBP.

When Manny comes back I think there is no question Pierre goes to the bench, but I do believe he will take on a more significant role than he had prior to Manny’s suspension. I think the suspension of Ramirez may actually prove to be a good thing for the Dodgers because they found out Juan Pierre is a viable replacement for Manny Ramirez and that should allow the other 3 starters to get a few extra games off down the stretch.

What do you think? Should Manny be inserted into the lineup right away? Should Pierre be rewarded for his ‘breakout’ season? Let us know in the comments section

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