Berkman Officially on DL to Start Season

Today the Houston Astros officially put Lance Berkman on the disabled list to start the season with left knee problems. The issues began on March 1st when he felt discomfort and swelling in his knee. The club had an MRI done on the knee and the results came back with a left knee contusion, basically a bruise. During the second week of March, he had fluid drained twice from the knee which kept him from playing. Then he had arthroscopic surgery on March 13 to remove loose particles from his knee which found no other damage in his knee. Yesterday the knee began to swell again after practicing and the team placed him in the DL today. The move was retroactive to March 26 with him available at the earliest on April 10th

So what does this mean?

For Lance, it looks like he may have to take easy, which may be tough for him. He has only missed 51 total days to the DL over the past 5 years. He expects to be on the field, but he will need to make sure he is fine before playing again.

It is hard to try to find the true extent of the injury. He had pain and swelling that surgery didn’t seem to correct. My guess is that he came back too fast from surgery hoping to make the opening day roster (maybe he bought 20 tickets already for friends and family) or the real cause of the injury has not yet been resolved.

I would be impressed if he makes back by April 10th and we could see the extent of this injury be even worse.

For the Astros, this injury was one of the last things they wanted to see happen to their roster this year. Chone projects Lance with a 0.381 wOBA this season while his replacement, Geoff Blum looks to hit a 0.294 wOBA (a level below replacement level for 1B). Berkman by far the best hitter in the Astros lineup and he will definitely be missed.

The Astros aren’t expect to do decent this season (73-89 projected by CHONE) and losing Berkman for any amount of time will just hurt an already disadvantaged team.

Print This Post

Jeff writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times and Royals Review, as well as his own website, Baseball Heat Maps with his brother Darrell. In tandem with Bill Petti, he won the 2013 SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

Comments are closed.