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When Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman stepped back to try and catch a popup in foul territory, he had a setback that might land him on the disabled list.
Berkman felt renewed soreness in his left calf at the same spot as the strain that kept him out of the lineup this past weekend. The switch-hitter was removed from the Cardinals' 11-1 victory against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, but that is only the start of an absence that might be several days or, he suggested, more.
"I think the DL is a possibility for sure," Berkman said, referencing the 15-day disabled list. "I'm not saying they need to throw me on there immediately. But we waited a week, essentially, and it's kind of reared up again. So, it's not insignificant. The bottom line is you want to make sure (the injury) is behind you and it's not something you have to battle it at all."
The club officially classified Berkman as "day to day."
Berkman said he met with team doctors Wednesday night and they confirmed that it was the same tear as he experienced last week in Cincinnati — a tear in the calf muscle. General manager John Mozeliak said the team would re-evaluate Berkman's status before the game today, once the injury has had time to settle down.
Asked if the Cardinals would bring a player up from Class AAA Memphis to be available if a DL move was needed, Mozeliak said: "We'll know more (today). We'll make the decision then."
Berkman said the next "few days are in jeopardy," and manager Mike Matheny couldn't imagine a scenario where Berkman would play immediately.
"The likelihood of him playing isn't very high," Matheny said. "Where we go from there, it's too early. We've got to talk to all the medical staff."
The number that looms over this decision isn't games Berkman might miss.
That's the season that Berkman last had a calf injury, one he said is similar to this one. That year he took some time off and returned to the lineup only to get in two games before going on the disabled list. He missed almost three weeks and played only five games in a month's span. This week, he rested the injury, came back, played two games, and had a relapse.
"If anybody is to blame it's me," Berkman said. "I've been through this before. I had this exact same thing in 2009, and it pretty much did the exact same thing. So, you think I would have learned. I tried to play with it, and it kind of did the same thing."
Berkman said he felt some bite in the calf since returning to the lineup Tuesday night against Cincinnati. On Wednesday, he extended his hitting streak to seven games to start this season with an infield single in the first inning. He raced to beat the play at first, and then he was involved in a double steal before finally sprinting around third to score on David Freese's double. Berkman said he knew there was still soreness in the leg in all that running, but it wasn't until the top of the fifth inning when soreness became injury.
I would think that if Berkman is disabled, they might just activate Skip. It would either be Skip or Hamilton, but Hamilton seems like a waste of a roster space to me. Carpenter has surpassed him and this would be a good way to get Skip in there without sending Robinson down -- we're short on RH'ed bench players and it's something of an issue.
Another less likely possibility is to call up Bryan Anderson. Then you can move Cruz into that 3rd/1st backup player and right handed pinch hitter. If you face a tough lefty it would be nice to have him available to play 1st.
Q: What year is it?
A: Ty Wigginton