Monday, May 15, 2006

Struggling Pirates Demote Promising Chris Duffy

Promising center fielder Chris Duffy, who electrified the fans last year when he batted .341 in 126 at-bats, has been demoted to the minors after falling flat on his face as leadoff hitter for the Pirates. Though Duffy, 26, batted .300 or better for most of his minor league career and appeared to have nothing left to prove at AAA Indianapolis, he hit a dismal .194 in 98 at-bats for the Bucs this season and must take a considerable amount of blame for the team's disappointing performance. Another so-called promising rookie, Nate McLouth, 25, likely will pick up some of Duffy's playing time as McLouth is batting nearly 40 points higher than Duffy, a robust .231.