Bengel: Should the Phillies pursue Berkman?

Lance Berkman could be a huge addition to the Phillies playoff hopes. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman cleared waivers today. So now the question becomes: should the Phillies be interested?

After a down year splitting time between the Astros and Yankees, Berkman has re-emerged as the power hitter that he once was. He is hitting .289 with 30 home runs and 81 RBIs in 118 games.

The Phillies have already added a bat in Hunter Pence but could Berkman have a place in this lineup?

The answer is yes.

Raul Ibanez is pretty much finished and has hovered around a .240 average all season. I think he would be more suited for a bench role. John Mayberry Jr. has enjoyed a very hot month of August. He is hitting .355 with two home runs and 10 RBIs. Mayberry has been the Phillies’ everyday left-fielder as of late. But over the stretch of a season, Mayberry never has seemed to put it together.

Berkman is a guy that is worth adding to the lineup. Imagine adding 30 home runs to a lineup that already includes Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Hunter Pence.

First of all, Berkman won’t come with a big price tag. A low-tier minor league prospect or two should get it done. He also makes the Phillies offense that much more dangerous. There’s a big dropoff after Pence in the five-hole.

With Rollins being out for a few weeks, Berkman could help soothe the news of him being on the shelf.

Berkman and Howard could combine to hit over 90 home runs. That is an astronomical improvement and puts the Phillies over the top. He is also used to hit around power hitters. Berkman hit in a lineup that featured Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday. He can handle the pressure.

Ruben, just do it. With this pitching staff, Berkman almost guarantees a parade down Broad Street.


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