When this Fan first heard that the Cardinals had signed Lance Berkman, the first thought was, "Hey, the Cardinals got the Fan's sleeper pick for 2011." Then there was the thought that the Cardinals now had a good first baseman. But...wait...DOH! They already have a pretty good first baseman. So where is Pujols going to play?
According to the article reporting the signing, Berkman will be slated to play right field. Seriously? Berkman hasn't played the outfield since 2007. He has bad wheels. Even when he was an outfielder, he was good in left but terrible in right. Why would they play him in right? Oh yeah, they have another clunky fielder in left named Matt Holliday. Mr. Rasmus better get some new track shoes playing between those two guys.
Even so, the Cardinals could get a monster bounce back season from Berkman. And if that happens, then defense be darned. If Berkman hits like he is capable of hitting, he will easily earn his $8 million salary. But the Fan can't help wincing about that outfield defense. Berkman will not want to be a role player. He wants to play every day. He's used to being a star...the star. Perhaps his short time in New York gave him a dose of what it's like not being the big man anymore.
A while back, this writer included Lance Berkman as one of the sleeper hits of the 2010/2011 off season. But the Fan's thinking there was as a first baseman or a DH. It's just hard picturing him as an every day outfielder at this point in his career. Again, we'll see how it all turns out.