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Lance Berkman's Defense: A Spring Training Enigma

I think this says something about the St. Louis Cardinals' concerns about Lance Berkman's defense: He's played fewer innings in the outfield than Memphis Redbirds guarantees Shane Robinson and Nick Stavinoha. So the Cardinals are convinced—have been convinced, from the beginning—that their newer, slimmer Berkman can play right field at what they perceive to be a Major League level. They aren't convinced he'll be able to stay healthy doing it. 

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The Cardinals' braintrust has a mixed track record in terms of their recent ability to predict defensive competence—Skip Schumaker was a useful second baseman when he was an average hitter for everybody, but not when he was a below-average hitter for a second baseman—but I'm glad they're realistic about Berkman's health concerns. With Allen Craig and Jon Jay set to break camp on the Major League roster they can certainly afford to be. 

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Now if only they'd be realistic about Schumaker's defensive concerns. Berkman will cede plenty of playing-time to the youngsters just because he needs days off and could spend time on the DL; Schumaker's most consistent tool to date is his durability. 

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