According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies are pursuing free agent Lance Berkman. The switch hitting Berkman is an appealing option for the Rockies. Last season, he struggled with injuries and production, but he has always been a force at the plate. He hits for power from the left side of the plate, but is more consistent from the right. As a bench player, Berkman would be a significant upgrade over previous veterans like Jason Giambi. Since he’s a switch-hitter, Jim Tracy can use Berkman in any situation.
Right field is not a good idea. Just trust me.
There is one problem with the Rockies’ pursuit of Lance. According to Renck, the Rockies want Berkman to play a couple of times a week in the outfield and to sub for Helton occasionally. There is no issue with Berkman at first, but the former Astro hasn’t played a game in the outfield since 2007. Plus, he was always an average outfielder anyway. The Rockies are better off defending Coors’ expansive outfield with youth and athleticism.
Berkman is a great player, but both sides need to have realistic expectations if this is going to work. He is no longer an outfielder and should only be used as one in an emergency. Hopefully, Colorado is aware of Berkman’s defensive deficiencies and is interested in Lance as an insurance policy for Todd Helton. That is why I like this move. I like to think that Berkman and Helton together can produce one Helton-esque or Berkman-esque season.