Berkman may be headed to DL with calf issue
Cards first baseman aggravated existing injury chasing popup
ST. LOUIS -- First baseman Lance Berkman conceded that he might need to be placed on the disabled list after aggravating a left calf strain during the Cardinals' 11-1 win over the Reds on Wednesday night.
The same injury recently forced Berkman to sit for four straight games. He had just returned to the lineup on Tuesday.
"I think the DL is a possibility, for sure," said Berkman, who reinjured his leg while trying to lunge for a fifth-inning popup in right-field foul territory.
Berkman took a bad step during his pursuit, and the ball fell foul. He finished the inning in the field, but was pinch-hit for in the bottom half of the frame.
"I'm not saying they need to throw me on [the DL] immediately," Berkman said. "But we waited a week, essentially, and it has kind of reared up again. The bottom line is that whatever you do, you want to make sure that once you do it that it is behind you, so it's not something that you have to battle all year."
The recurrence of this injury is not new territory for Berkman, who already knew the consequence of trying to rush back. He suffered a similar injury in July 2009, came back briefly and then aggravated his calf again. That second setback put him on the DL for 21 days.
Berkman suffered this most recent calf strain while legging out a triple in an April 10 game against the Reds. Though he rested it for nearly a week, Berkman noted that there had been some recent soreness. Before the problems with the fifth-inning popup, Berkman felt some minor discomfort when he raced down the line to beat out a first-inning infield single on Wednesday.
"Anytime you have to push it, you feel it and it's sore and a little tight," Berkman said. "But there's a difference between the soreness and when the injury occurred. I felt it a little bit, but I certainly felt it was manageable and wasn't prohibitive."
The Cardinals announced Berkman's status as day-to-day, though the club could summon a player from the Minors overnight should the decision be made to place Berkman on the DL. Matt Carpenter, would likely start during Berkman's absence, though the Cards could also consider power-hitting first-base prospect Matt Adams, who is batting .389 with Triple-A Memphis. Adams, though, is not on the 40-man roster, which is full.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.