Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bye-bye Berroa

It's official: Angel Berroa has lost his starting spot. Now he'll get paid $8.5 million to try to rediscover his 2003 form in Omaha -- not that it'll much matter if he does, since he's in the final year of a contract that almost definitely will not get renewed, no matter how much Buddy Bell likes him.

Said Bell in the above-linked story:
I just hope he does great. If he's doing great, we're going to see him with us or with somebody else. If he is doing well, I'd have no problem at all putting him in the lineup again.
If you really believe that, though, well... welcome to IDWT, Mrs. Berroa. I hate to do this, but here's just a small sample of what people think of your son:
  • The Unnamed Scout from Joe Posnanski's blog: "He’s awful. Horrible. I wouldn’t have him as a backup. … He still can’t recognize a slider, and he’s so spooked by that he will just watch fastballs go right down the middle of the plate. He has lost about three steps too. … Royals are stuck with a bad contract, so they will keep playing him even though he’s absolutely killing them."
  • Buster Olney: "It would not be surprising if he didn't have a regular job in the big leagues again. Spoke with executives of two teams in recent days and they said the reports they were getting on Berroa were off-the-charts bad."
Off-the-charts bad. I mean, you can't really get any worse, can you?

And while there's been speculation about Berroa's replacement, it seems like the Royals' fascination (fixation?) with shortstops whose names begin with "AN" (Andres Blanco, Angel Sanchez) is about to end. According to the same Royals spokesperson who said "That might change in a week" regarding the Berroa-as-starter situation in my previous post, it now appears that newly acquired Tony Pena Jr. has been penciled in. He'll take over for Berroa in the ninth spot in the batting order. We can only assume that might change in a week, but for now it looks like Royals' Opening Day lineup will be:

CF: David DeJesus
2B: Esteban German (until Mark Grudzielanek returns from injury)
RF: Mark Teahen
DH: Mike Sweeney
LF: Emil Brown
1B: Ryan Shealy
3B: Alex Gordon
C: John Buck/Jason LaRue
SS: Tony Pena Jr.

Rotation: Gil Meche, Odalis Perez, Luke Hudson, Jorge de la Rosa, Zach Greinke (barely ahead of Brian Bannister)

Top relievers: Jimmy Gobble (until Joe Nelson returns), Joakim Soria, David Riske, Octavio Dotel (closer)

UPDATE 3/26: Just found out Garth over at Pine Tar Charts posted an entry on the same day I did titled, purely coincidentally, "Bye, bye, Berroa." It's worth checking out for its contents.

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