The Pirates' New Infield

ATLANTA - MAY 28: Third baseman Neil Walker #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates waits for a ground hit to bounce into his glove against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on May 28, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Coming into this season, the Pirates' infield was established with Jeff Clement at first, Akinori Iwamura at second, Ronny Cedeno at shortstop and Andy LaRoche at third base.

On Sunday (they had last night off) not a single one of those players was still manning his position with the club, and it appears that all of them may have lost their everyday jobs for good. Clement is now the clean-up hitter for Triple-A Indianapolis as Garrett Jones has moved from right field to first base, Iwamura was designated for assignment and replaced by former first-round pick Neil Walker, Cedeno has been benched in four of the past five games in favor of Bobby Crosby, and LaRoche's struggles freed up third base for potential franchise cornerstone Pedro Alvarez.

This isn't much more than an interesting observation, as LaRoche was really the only one of those guys that was expected to be a part of the team's winning future, and we don't have much of a clear idea of when that future is. Generally speaking, teams don't put together infields with an eye on replacing all four players internally over the course of two months. Now, I'm simply not up for going into too much detail on this right now; I got my wisdom teeth pulled this morning and I don't exactly feel like a champion.

But when a team has scrapped their entire starting infield by mid-June, that's just something to take note of. I mean, just look at their lineup from April compared to today:

Opening Day Starters:                                         Present Day Starters

C Ryan Doumit                                                   C Ryan Doumit

1B Jeff Clement                                                   1B Garrett Jones

2B Akinori Iwamura                                             2B Neil Walker

3B Andy LaRoche                                               3B Pedro Alvarez

SS Ronny Cedeno                                              SS Bobby Crosby

LF Lastings Milledge                                           LF Jose Tabata

CF Andrew McCutchen                                     CF Andrew McCutchen

RF Garrett Jones                                                RF Lastings Milledge

Of their 8 everyday players coming into the season, two have been benched, one has been demoted, one has been designated for assignment, and two others have changed positions. Only two players, catcher Ryan Doumit and center fielder Andrew McCutchen, are still playing everyday at the same position.

I mean, hey, at least they noticed they weren't too good.

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