Even in his best year, his AL ROY-winning 2003, Angel Berroa still only managed a pedestrian .789 OPS. In 332 plate appearances for Triple-A Omaha, Berroa had a .797 OPS. While that certainly is an improvement over Chin-Lung Hu (.430) and Luis Maza (.585), was it really worth spending the $500,000 the Dodgers will pay to buy out Berroa’s option for 2009?
Silver lining? Acquiring Berroa probably signals the end of Chin-Lung Hu’s time with the big club. Hu just looks flat-out awful at the plate, and should benefit from some time in Las Vegas. In a perfect world, Mark Sweeney and Luis Maza would join him as well. But the Dodger world under Ned Colletti has been far from perfect.
I expect Hu to be sent down, and with no backups to incumbent 3B Blake DeWitt, Andy LaRoche should finally be recalled to L.A. If Rafael Furcal can return on June 17th as the club seems to think, that should also signal the end for Luis Maza, leaving Furcal and Berroa as the primary middle infielders, with LaRoche backing them up.
Still, you can’t help but be amused when you hear four-time World Champion manager™ Joe Torre say that he needs time to evaluate what Berroa can do. Um, Joe, I can do that for you, and save the club valuable time and money. Berroa sucks.
In spite of Berroa’s suckitude and Hu’s apparent need for a change of scenery, assuming Rafael Furcal is back in a week as anticipated, why even bother with Berroa? Hu’s defensive ability clearly outshines Berroa’s. And while Berroa is marginally better with the bat, any gain made there is erased by his defensive inability. Hu certainly could benefit from time in Las Vegas, but the Dodgers don’t benefit at all by having Berroa. They could’ve easily gone with a combination of LaRoche, Maza, Tiffee, and Hu to fill in for Furcal until he returns.