Darin Erstad was signed for 1 million plus incentives. He is essentially a defensive replacement in the outfield and at first – he’s won 3 Gold Gloves, and unlike Derek Jeter, deserved every one of them. I suppose he’s what I would call the 2 fer 1 – he replaces Biggio in the Grit Department (ever notice that only Caucasian males are Gritty? That there is no such thing as a Gritmeister who is Black, Latin or Asian?) and, if he isn’t hurt, replaces Orlando Palmeiro with the bat.
Lets take a look at his last 5 years: he was a regular with the Angels from 03-06 and supposed to be a utility OF last year with the White Sox, but was actually used as a regular until he – surprise, surprise – got hurt.
2003: .252/.309/.352/.642 – 7 doubles, 4 HR, 18 BB, 8 GIDP over 258 AB in 67 games
After the season, the Angels moved him to first base. Note the OPS for a 1B!!!!!
2004: .295/.346/.400/.746 – 29 2B, 7 HR, , 37 BB, 16 SB, 9 GIDP in 495 AB in 125 games
2005: .273/.325/.371/.696 – 33 2B, 7 HR, 10 SB, 47 BB, 9 GIDP in 609 AB in 153 games
Then in 06, he was moved back to center but played 13 games at first and 27 in center (before getting hurt, as usual): he had little to no value as a first baseman because his only real asset, his glove, was wasted in a premier power position.
2006: .221/.276/.326/.605 – 8 doubles, 6 BB, 2 GIDP in 96 AB (looks like Ausmus)
The Angels let him go and he signed on with the White Sox to replace Aaron Rowand’s Grit Factor.
2007: .248/.310/.345/.655 – 13 2B, 4 HR, 7 SB, 4 GIDP in 310 AB over 87 games (yep, you guessed it – he got hurt, as usual.
The press is going on about his .284 lifetime BA, but fact is that he hasn’t had an OPS over 700 (except for his .746 in 04) since 2000. He may hit with a slightly better BA, since this is the NL, but I certainly wouldn’t expect an increase in power. He most DEFINITELY won’t be any Mike Lamb, and who knows how good he will be as a pinch hitter.
What we NEEDED is some punch off the bench, and whatever Erstad is or was, these days, he has about as much punch as I do.
Ah well, he did kick footballs when he was in college. Why exactly kicking a football makes a man a better BASEBALL player, I really do not understand – must be my complete lack of testicular fortitude. But I thought I’d better mention how Erstad used to kick footballs. It MUST be important somehow, because media people keep bringing it up, as if it matters. Perhaps one of yall males might could try to explain it to me…