Lance Berkman just returned from the disabled list a week ago after missing 20 games with a calf injury. He’s now back on it and might be out of the picture even longer this time around.
The 36-year-old injured his right knee while reaching awkwardly for a throw at first base in Saturday’s loss to the Dodgers, and although it won’t be confirmed until an MRI is performed Monday, the early word is that he may have torn his ACL. (Update: Joe Stauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Berkman has indeed been tentatively diagnosed with a torn ACL. He'll undergo a Monday MRI to confirm.)
The Cardinals have great depth on offense, but it will be tested with Berkman, Allen Craig (hamstring) and Jon Jay (shoulder) all missing from one of the game’s most potent lineups. Replacing Berkman on the roster will be Matt Adams, who is one of the better first base prospects in the game. The hefty left-handed swinger batted a robust .300/.357/.566 with 32 homers last season on his way to winning Texas League Player of the Year Honors, and he’s picked up right where he left off this year, hitting .340/.375/.603 with nine bombs at Triple-A Memphis. Adams, who went 2-for-4 at the plate in his debut Sunday, should be owned in all fantasy leagues.
More Shoulder Problems for McCarthy
Brandon McCarthy appeared to have shaken off his shoulder woes from earlier this month when he fired seven shutout innings while striking out 10 in his first start back. As it turns out, though, his shoulder was an issue for him again in his following start, and it’s landed him on the disabled list.
The good news with McCarthy is that an MRI showed no damage to his scapula, which is the problem he had exactly one year ago to the day that also led him to the DL. Because of this, the 28-year-old right-hander doesn’t think the ailment is serious and he plans on being ready when his 15 days are up. The bad news is that this is latest in a long history of shoulder issues for McCarthy, so expecting him to be good to go in a couple weeks is probably unrealistic.
McCarthy did return to pitch very well after missing six weeks of action last year, so perhaps he can do it again. It’s obviously no safe bet, though. The A’s will recall Graham Godfrey to replace McCarthy in the rotation
Chapman the Man in Ninth
Fantasy owners have been itching to see what Aroldis Chapman could do in the Reds rotation. Those plans have to be put on hold, but at least the fireballing left-hander will now have the opportunity to make a bigger dent in fantasy leagues, having been named the team’s new closer.
Chapman had no trouble nailing down his first save chance Sunday, retiring the Yankees in order while recording one strikeout. The Cuban import has yet to give up an earned run this season, and he sports a microscopic 0.63 WHIP and 39/7 K/BB ratio over 22 1/3 innings.
We have no doubt that Chapman will have plenty of success in the ninth inning for the Reds, as he’s nearly unhittable now that he’s got his control in order. But, the more success he has in the closer role, the less likely it will be that he’ll move into the rotation down the line. We’d still love to see what he could do pitching every fifth day.
National League Quick Hits: Vance Worley has been diagnosed with a bone chip in his right elbow that will likely require offseason surgery. He’ll attempt to pitch through the ailment for now … Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he will talk to team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer about Anthony Rizzo getting a June call-up. Rizzo boasted a .353/.418/.706 batting line with 14 homers and 39 RBI at Triple-A Iowa going into Sunday’s action … Mets manager Terry Collins seems to be warming to the idea of sending Ike Davis down the minors in order to get going. He could be shipped out when Jason Bay (rib) returns … Emilio Bonifacio has landed on the DL with a sprained thumb. We’ll have a better idea how long the speedster will be out once the MRI results are revealed … Cory Luebke is leaning towards Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow and could have the procedure as soon as this week … Mired in a 2-for-31 slide at the plate, Dee Gordon will receive a few days off to recharge his batteries … Jeremy Hefner will step into the Mets rotation with Miguel Batista (back) going on the DL … Mark Ellis will miss at least six weeks after undergoing a fasciotomy to relieve pressure in his left leg. Doctors said he actually might have needed an amputation if they had waited a few hours longer … Jonathan Lucroy went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and seven RBI in Sunday’s 16-4 rout over the Twins. He now sports an impressive .342/.389/.550 line for the season … Stephen Strasburg left Sunday’s outing with tightness in his right biceps. It’s being downplayed, and it sounds like he’ll make his next scheduled start.
American League Quick Hits: Vernon Wells is expected to land on the DL with a thumb injury. It likely means more playing time for Peter Bourjos … ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the Indians and Phillies are keeping an eye on Kevin Youkilis as they look for an offensive upgrade. Youkilis, who is due back from the DL Tuesday, could be expendable with Will Middlebrooks’ emergence … Max Scherzer whiffed an MLB season-high 15 batters Sunday against the Pirates. The righty is streaky, so now is probably a good time to buy low if you can … Hideki Matsui is expected to join the Rays sometime this week. He'll give Joe Maddon an option in left field while Desmond Jennings (knee) is out and could also see the occasional start in the DH slot. Jennings is expected back on or around May 27, though, the first day he’s eligible to be activated from the disabled list … Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow) received a cortisone shot Sunday in his right trapezius muscle. He’ll have his rehab clock reset … Brett Gardner (elbow) won't be allowed to pick up a bat until Thursday. His recovery is going much slower than expected and he should be considered out indefinitely … Manny Ramirez was scratched from Triple-A Sacramento’s lineup Sunday due to a sore wrist, but he’s expected to be back in there Monday. Barring a setback, he should still join the A’s on May 30 … Evan Longoria might be ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring injury. He had been slated to return in late June, but that timetable might be pushed up a bit … Austin Jackson (abdomen) may not be able to return to action by Tuesday. The Tigers are still considering him day-to-day, but the DL will have to be considered before long.