Saturday, March 25, 2006

Berkman to Play 1B; Taveras CF

Astros 1B Jeff Bagwell's decision to undergo surgery to remove bone splints in his shoulder breaks the logjam on the Houston bench, clearing the way for Lance Berkman to move from outfield to first, opening a spot for speedster Willy Taveras in center and moving Preston Wilson from center to right. Berkman has been keeping a low profile, supporting Bagwell in his heartrending comeback attempt while Berkman discreetly coveted 1B for himself. Meanwhile the clock starts ticking on '05 rookie Taveras, who must prove the league has not figured him out, as last year's second half stats suggest. Taveras could steal 40 bases or more, if only he could steal first. In the meantime he must put the ball in play and hope his legs are fast enough to help him rack up a raft of singles.