Jan 17, 2011, 1:38 AM EDT
La Russa’s statement came at a press conference shortly after Holliday stated publically he would like to know if he would be switching from left to right field for the 2011 season. Holliday said he was willing to switch, but would like to know so he could prepare himself, “just for repetitions sake.”
But La Russa made it clear that Berkman would be the team’s right fielder.
“Lance will make the routine play out there, there’s no doubt in my mind,” the manager said. “That’s where he’s going to play, and Matt doesn’t have to make a change.”
This could be an adventure. Holliday is a very good defensive left fielder, ranking fourth in UZR at his position in 2010, so it makes sense to keep him where he is.
And Berkman, 35, has reportedly lost 20 pounds to prepare in anticipation of a return to the outfield. But while Berkman has played 963 games in the outfield, including 166 in center field, none of those games have come in the last three seasons, and he never graded out well defensively as an outfielder anyway.
But La Russa, never one to succumb to conventional thinking, refused to entertain the notion that the Cardinals will be giving up defense to put Berkman’s bat in the lineup.
“We’re not giving up the routine play, that’s what you worry about,” La Russa said. “He’s got a hell of a bat and he’s going to be an average, at least, outfielder.
“I don’t feel like we’re conceding anything.”
- A pitch clock in Major League Baseball? No thanks. 77
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 73
- Garrett Richards suffers ugly left knee injury 28
- Giants win protest, will complete rain-halted game at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon 46
- Royals might actually know what they are doing 33
- Curt Schilling reveals that he was diagnosed with mouth cancer, blames smokeless tobacco 72
- Clown shoes in Chicago: the Cubs grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp on the field 58
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 69
- Mike Matheny addresses turmoil in Ferguson: “It’s a sad situation. It’s a tough situation for our city” (127)
- Here’s today’s dose of barfy Derek Jeter sentiment (82)
- A pitch clock in Major League Baseball? No thanks. (77)
- Let’s speed up the pace of play. But let’s not be gimmicky about it. Let’s just enforce the rules. (74)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (73)