What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
I've come to grips with the fact that there's no Upton for this year, and I hope I'll be glad we didn't trade away the farm later, but the first thing I thought when I heard Upton to Atlanta went down was that Berkman really was going to hit in the 3 hole this year. I would have much preferred Berkman down further in the lineup so that the old man knees on the basepaths do not stop rallies before they start. Hamilton quit on the team last year, and I'm sad that I'll remember him for that, but he did have wheels that Berkman no longer has.
If the roster really is done going into next year like JD says it is, it seems like Piersynski/Soto should be roughly equivalent to Napoli/Soto. Since Hamilton played mostly CF down the stretch last year, I'll consider the CF platoon this year the defensive replacement for Hamilton and Berkman the replacement for Hamilton in the lineup. Basically, the question comes down to can Berkman + Gentry/Martin be better than Young + Hamilton?
Over on Fangraphs, Berkman is projected to have 2.3 WAR this year, while Hamilton is projected to have 3.9 WAR. I'm having a hard time knowing how to factor Young's data into this comparison. I certainly hope for the Phillies sake that he doesn't post a -1.4 WAR again, but have a hard time believing he's going to get up to the 1.8 WAR he's projected at for next year. Assuming he does and that these other numbers hold, this basically means the CF combo of Gentry/Martin has to post a WAR of 3.4 or greater for us to come out ahead next year.
Does this seem feasible? Gentry's UZR in center field was 13.7 in CF last year compared to Hamilton's -12.6, but I've heard Martin is a bit rough defensively and I'm a little skeptical that the improvements in defense will be enough to make up losing Hamilton's pop. If this is the case, can Berkman really be productive enough in the 3 hole to get us back to the playoffs?
Here's some additonal reading on the topic from Dave Cameron at Fangraphs from back when Berkman first signed. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/lance-berkman-a-cheaper-josh-hamilton/
I think Berkman will be just fine. If the FO wasn't confident in his return, they wouldn't have given him as much money as they did. From a traditional numbers perspective, no, I don't think he's going to be a 40+ HR/120 RBI guy. But I do believe his wRC+ will be on the same plane as Hamilton.
Now can we trade for KATE UPTON?
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