Tony LaRussa loves him some veteran players. Enter “Fat Elvis” and his sore back, strained groin, hyper-extended knee and the 24 other Day-to-Day injuries listed on his Injury Tool page. I did not embellish or exaggerate, there are 27 listings for DTD injuries. I think I just heard Justin Morneau laughing in the background. Lance Berkman couldn’t stay healthy while standing on First Base for the Houston Astros. This is the Cardinals Left Fielder.
The “Big Puma” will get most of the starts against Righties and will platoon against Lefties. The switch-hitting Berkman hasn’t hit LHP well the past two seasons: .208 AVG with 8 HR in 216 At Bats. Last season was the first time, since the year 2000, that Lance didn’t hit at least 21 HR. He hit 14 round-trippers between 85 games with the Astros and 37 games with the Yankees. It’s fair to say the soon-to-be 35-year old is in decline mode.
2011 Projection .251 AVG, 12 HR, 53 Runs, 59 RBI, 1 SB (400 AB)
400 At Bats is an optimistic projection. I’d rather project stats for a player based on potential, rather than take a stab at guessing how many fly balls he can shag before his leg falls off. If I were to guess, I’d say he logs 358 At Bats. That single Stolen Base was borne out of pity. I don’t think the Cardinals should be sending him off to the races. That’s just asking for trouble. The kind of trouble you’ll be asking for if you draft “Fat Elvis”.