Lance Berkman may not be able to replace Josh Hamilton's power, but he will replace him in the Rangers' batting order. Manager Ron Washington said Thursday he expects Berkman will be his No. 3 hitter with Adrian Beltre remaining the cleanup hitter and Nelson Cruz batting fifth. The hope is that while Berkman won't clear the bases with the frequency Hamilton did, he will give Beltre a better opportunity to do so. Over the five years that Hamilton was in Texas, he compiled a .363 OBP and a .912 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. In the same five years, Berkman, who had 41 fewer homers, had a .401 OBP and .913 OPS. In addition, Berkman saw more pitches per plate appearance, an average of 3.9 vs. Hamilton's 3.66. With new hitting instructor Dave Magadan, the Rangers plan to stress plate discipline even more. "He takes very good at-bats," Washington said of Berkman before a stop on the team's annual caravan. "His experience will help. He will do it on the field, but he won't just do it there. He will do it by word of mouth and through his experience. Guys will gravitate to him." With the exception of Berkman replacing Hamilton in the No. 3 spot, Washington said he expects the top five spots in the lineup to remain the same. Ian Kinsler will lead off followed by Elvis Andrus, Berkman, Beltre and Cruz.
Ranger manager Ron Washington reveals new addition Lance Berkman's slot in lineup
Dallas Morning News | Jan 11