The Cardinals sit at 9-4, three games ahead of the division rival Brewers. They’ve won all of their series thus far. So, one might assume that all is hunky dory in Redbird Nation, but that's not really the case.
As my long-haired colleague Patrick Daugherty told you in yesterday’s Dose, Lance Berkman aggravated his left calf injury in Wednesday’s game. On Thursday, Cards general manager John Mozeliak conceded that Puma was headed to the disabled list. It’s not clear at this point how long Berkman will be sidelined, but even if it’s the minimum amount of time, he’ll be out until May 4 and will have missed 19 games by then.
Berkman’s replacement, Matt Carpenter is sporting a tidy .321/.323/.643 batting line with a homer and 11 RBI in the early going. And, despite his lack of big league experience, he’s also a career .300/.408/.451 hitter in the minors, so the Redbirds can probably get by without Berkman for a couple weeks. But, he hasn’t been the only Cards’ casualty, as Jon Jay had to leave Thursday’s game with a sprained shoulder after smacking into the center field wall while trying to make a catch.
Jay’s status is still up in the air, but Mozeliak conceded after the game that a roster move might be required. The 27-year-old outfielder left the clubhouse Thursday in a sling and reportedly had trouble dressing himself.
Skip Schumaker (oblique) will be activated from the disabled list to take Berkman’s spot on the roster, and he could wind up receiving plenty of time in center field if Jay is on the shelf for a while. The Cards would also figure to give Carlos Beltran some time in center in that instance. It’s possible first base prospect Matt Adams will be a candidate for a promotion if Jay needs to go on the DL. The 23-year-old isn’t on the 40-man roster, but he boasted a .389/.421/.648 batting line with three homers at Triple-A Memphis heading into Thursday’s action.
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Surgery for Moseley
An MRI a little over a week ago showed that Dustin Moseley had significant damage to his pitching shoulder, and now the right-hander admits that surgery is “probably my only option."
At this point, details about a potential operation aren’t available, but it sure sounds like something that would knock Moseley out for the remainder of the 2012 season. He finishes with just one start under his belt after boasting a surprising 3.30 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 20 starts last year.
Joe Wieland and Anthony Bass are currently holding down spots in the Padres rotation, and they’ll likely both stay there at least for another couple weeks until Tim Stauffer (elbow) is ready. At this point, Bass looks likelier to stick among the starting five longer, but Wieland definitely has more upside. Neither are mixed league options right now, however.
National League Quick Hits: Michael Cuddyer (toe) expects to be back in the Rockies’ lineup Friday. He left Wednesday’s game with a toe injury, but it appears to be a non-issue … Justin Upton (thumb) was not in Thursday’s lineup for the third straight day. But, the D’Backs outfielder thinks he’ll be ready to return to action soon … Juan Uribe missed a second straight start Thursday due to a sore left wrist. The Dodgers considered sending him to a specialist, but they’ll hold off for now and see how he comes out of batting practice Friday … Chipper Jones (knee) expects to return to the starting lineup Friday. He’s had some swelling in his surgically-repaired knee, but it doesn’t seem like it will be a long-term issue … Brandon Phillips is still nursing soreness in his left hamstring, and it’s been noticeable in game situations. It’s manageable, though, so unless he aggravates it, a DL stint won’t be required. He belted his first homer Thursday … Tim Hudson (back) allowed just one run over five innings in his third rehab start Wednesday. He’s expected to be activated to make his season debut on April 29 or 30 … Adam Wainwright struggled again Thursday, giving up four runs over five innings against the Reds. He’s now 0-3 over his first three starts and has a 9.88 ERA, though his K/BB ratio sits at 14/4 over 13 2/3 innings. He’s feeling fine physically, and we expect him to find his groove eventually as he gets further removed from Tommy John surgery … Jeff Samardzija became a popular sleeper after his impressive spring training, and his support group became larger after he came within one out of a complete game in his first outing. He’s been brutal since, though, most recently getting pounded for five runs on eight hits and five walks in Thursday’s loss to the Marlins. He should certainly be benched now if you own him, and we wouldn’t blame you for going ahead and cutting him loose … Geoff Blum (oblique) could be sidelined for as long as 4-8 weeks … Jayson Werth left Thursday’s game with a hip injury, but he’s expected to be fine … Ryan Howard (Achilles) will see a specialist Friday and could be cleared for more baseball activities. He’s been limited to strength exercises and some basic on-field work to this point.
American League Quick Hits: B.J. Upton (back) will rejoin the Rays lineup on Friday against the Twins. It’s been a month since he hurt his back in a spring training collision with Desmond Jennings, but he feels fine physically now and is ready to go … Coco Crisp has missed two straight games with a nasty bout of the flu. We’re guessing he’ll be fine to play Friday, but if not, Jonny Gomes will continue to fill in … Jason Hammel’s Orioles career has gotten off to a fine start. The former Rockie whiffed 10 White Sox hitters Thursday while allowing two runs over six innings. His ERA now sits at 2.37 after three outings, and his WHIP is a nifty 1.11. That said, now would be the opportunity to sell high … Drew Hutchison or Jesse Chavez will be promoted to assume the No. 5 spot in the Blue Jays rotation Saturday, with Hutchison perhaps looking like the likelier bet. The 21-year-old is certainly more intriguing, though we wouldn’t recommend him in fantasy leagues right away … Brandon Allen was claimed off waivers by the Rays. We figured he would get scooped up when the A’s designated him for assignment, but it’s a bad landing spot for him, as they already have Carlos Pena at first base and Luke Scott at DH. He’ll likely need an injury to be fantasy relevant … Erick Aybar’s four-year, $35 million contract extension with the Angels became official Thursday. Aybar was batting just.190/.227/.262 heading into Thursday’s game, but he hit .279/.322/.421 with a career-high 10 homers and 30 steals last season and is viewed as a capable defender … Nolan Reimold is off to a great start this year, batting .341/.357/.707 while homering in four of the last five games. He’s dealt with some minor injuries, though, first with a hamstring ailment and now neck spasms. He should be back in the lineup shortly, though … Brian Roberts (concussion) will fly with the Orioles to Anaheim, marking the third straight city where he’s been able to travel with the team. He’s also been performing baseball-related activities lately with no apparent issues. There’s still no timetable for his return or even when he’ll begin a rehab assignment, but things appear to be moving in the right direction … Curtis Granderson had the biggest offensive night of the young season Thursday, going 5-for-5 while blasting three homers. He entered the night batting just .208/.321/.458, but now he’s up to .283/.377/.679 with six longballs.