In an effort to shore up reserve infielders, the Braves may be in need of someone with more flexibility than the not-so-sure-handed Brooks Conrad, who also saw his offensive production plummet in 2011.
While DeRosa's last two seasons in San Francisco were mostly lost due to complications with wrist surgery in 2009, he hit .367 over the last two months of 2011 after two and a half months of rehab. DeRosa is also a career .272 hitter and is only two years removed from back-to-back seasons of over 20 home runs.
Though Atlanta would relish a reliable bat on the bench, they may value DeRosa's versatility in the field even more. Over his 14 seasons, DeRosa has seen time at shortstop, third base, second base, first base, left field and right field, an obvious improvement over Conrad, who is pretty much stuck at third or second.
No longer finding quite the clutch moments in 2011, Conrad saw his average drop from .250 to .233 and his home run total drop from eight to four. Conrad also managed only 13 RBIs in 103 at-bats in 2011.
And though DeRosa has only hit one home run over the past two seasons, much of that is attributed to his surgically repaired wrist that had to be re-repaired in 2010 and re-rehabilitated in 2011. If DeRosa can manage to keep his wrist healthy, he may be able to give Atlanta a veteran presence off the bench who already spent seven years with the Braves.
Jack Wilson is also still on the payroll through 2012, but adding DeRosa would provide more of a pinch hit or spell start presence as opposed to Wilson's defensive capabilities.
Regardless of what the Braves choose, it may suit them well to bring someone back who remembered the Braves' decade-plus of winning. DeRosa's last year in Atlanta, 2004, was the next to last year the Braves won the National League East.Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Mark DeRosa, MLB