With the All-Star events concluded ~ we begin our second half of the season. The Cardinals gathered at Busch Stadium yesterday for an optional workout before heading to Cincinnati to play the Reds for a three game series this weekend. Good news on the radar ~ FB Lance Berkman will be back with the team after a lengthy stay on the DL since May 19th. He had surgery to repair atorn meniscus and cartilage damage in his right knee. Originally scheduled, he was to continue his rehab in the minors. However, he is feeling so good that additional at-bat rehab is not necessary and he will forego that route. He traveled with the team to Cincinnati in hopes of being reactivated as soon as Saturday. Berkman has only played in 13 games this season, but was batting at .333 and had several extra base hits. Reportedly, Berkman has looked at the time he has missed and he’s anxious to get back in the game. His rehab has gone very well and he feels this is the best way to accomplish his goal. Now the question is … in what role will he play ~ held on the reserve list, pinch hitting to begin. With FB Craig doing so well for the Cardinals, .313 batting ave., 13 HR, 44 RBI, and 32 runs to his credit…plus playing very well at first base ~ will be a slow process for the Cardinals manager Matheny to work Berkman back into the line-up. Even though, with Berkman’s switch hitting capabilities ~ adding to that of Beltran and Furcal ~ can only be a plus for the Cardinals future. With much to consider for the team, is good to know he’s “back” and ready to play.
Another Cardinal listed on the 60 day DL as of May 18th ~ RP Kyle McClellan for a strained right elbow. He has been in rehab over the past couple of months. Last week while throwing, he experienced pain in his right shoulder. McClellan underwent surgery this week and will be out for the season. The surgery, which was to repair a split capsule and clean up his labrum, should allow him to be ready for spring training next year. McClellan stated, “It’s a little bit of relief knowing it can be fixed and I can pitch without pain again, which I haven’t been doing for the last year,” Disappointing, yes, but knowing surgery was for the best to get him back pain free ~ is encouragement for him to return with the expertise we have seen from him on the mound. Pitcher Garcia, who is also on the DL, is in rehab but no definite date of his return.
Cardinals 3B David Freese has been on the day-to-day DL due to a bruised left leg which was injured sliding into home plate for the win over the Marlins last Sunday night giving the Cardinals two out of three game series. Hopefully, with five days rest ~ we will see Freese in the line-up this evening.
Molina, who missed the series against the Marlins and his All-Star appearance, has returned after being on the bereavement list due to a death in his wife’s family.
The Cardinals are six above the .500 mark (46-40) once again. Playing at Cincinnati (47-38) with SP Adam Wainwright, 7-8 (4.56) against the Reds SP Latos, 7-2 (4.13). From now until the end of the month, teams will be trading players to achieve their ultimate goal to be among the best for the playoffs leading to the World Series ~ sites to October. At the moment, the Cardinals bullpen is the only weak spot of their team. Does the organization feel the players they have can step and do the job ~ or, will they be bringing in a couple of new relief pitchers. Time will tell. However, as we know in baseball ~ one can only take one day at a time … one game at time. But it is now that the Cardinals need to make their surge. We want them above the “second wild card game” position come play-off time. Even though ~ lots of games yet to be played … one game at a time and hoping all stay healthy from here on out.
To everyone ~ have a great day and enjoy the games. The British Open is right around the corner, as well as well as the Olympics. Much to look forward to.
Always ~ Elichap