The injuries for the St. Louis Cardinals are starting to pile up at an alarming rate. The recent road trip has been brutal for those involved and painful for Cardinal Nation to witness. The amount of injuries is starting to take its toll as the Cardinals offense is beginning to sputter. The Cardinals impressive start has hit the skids as they now sit only four games above .500 dropping 7 of their last 9.
The latest victim to fall prey to the injury bug is Lance Berkman in Chavez Ravine last night. Berkman who has been oft injured this season felt something “crunchy and weird”. This is the same knee that caused Berkman to miss substantial time in 2005 when he was with the Astros. While he hasn’t had an MRI yet Puma feels confident it is not another ACL tear. He believes it is a Meniscus issue. I will hope that he is correct and that it is only a minor issue. His placement on the 15-day DL is another setback for him and the Cardinal offense.
Berkman joins center fielder John Jay, right fielder Allen Craig, and relief pitcher Kyle McClellan on the DL. These guys all hit the DL in the past week. Carlos Beltran is also dinged up and recently underwent an MRI for knee irritation and is day to day. A few weeks ago many of the Redbird Rants staff and countless other writers were trying to figure out what to do with all of the productive bats and the limited number of positions to play them in. This has quickly changed for manager Mike Matheny and the organization.
Matheny has been masterful in dealing with the ups and downs of this young season. He is really going to be put to the test now. He has to figure out how to right the ship with a limited hand. Where do the Birds find the offense to continue to move forward? When will everyone be healthy? How will the Cardinals cope? Matheny and his staff have their work cut out for them. The National League will not wait for them to get healthy. They will be attacking while they are weakest.
After Berkman went down GM John Mozeliak immediately contacted Memphis Manager Pop Warner that eh big club would be requiring the services of first baseman Matt Adams. Warner pulled him from the game in Vegas to prepare him for the trip. Adams has been a stud to say the least. The big lefthander was hitting .340 with nine homers and 27 RBI’s. As a former Class AA Texas League Player of the Year in 2011 the club has been watching his progress. He is one of the players in the farm system that has been on the watch list for the organization and fans alike. It will be interesting to see how he handles this opportunity. The door was open for Matt Carpenter with Berkman’s first stint on the DL. He capitalized on the opportunity and has stayed with the club performing admirably. With all of the other injuries facing the Cards now, Baby Carp will undoubtedly be rotating through some outfield positions and contributing.
The Birds will be facing their toughest test yet as they begin play without so many of their everyday players. The pitching will have to pick up the pace. The sluggish offense will have to find a way to produce runs without some of its biggest bats. Can some of the youngsters do their best David Freese impression and capitalize on their time with the big club? Can Mike Matheny keep the team together and keep them moving forward and finding a way to win? Only time will tell how the club will respond to these latest setbacks. We will discover soon enough what this team is made of. Because if losing Chris Carpenter wasn’t bad enough the latest round of injuries may be more detrimental at this juncture. Lance Lynn has done a great job filling in for the staff ace. I am looking forward to discovering which of he role players is going to capitalize on their chance to make an impact at the big league level. This should be interesting to watch to say the least.