Lance Berkman legs out a triple, sits out with a calf injury

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Lance Berkman was playing through a finger injury yesterday when he tweaked his left calf muscle legging out a rare triple, leaving the game two innings later.

He’s also absent from the Cardinals’ lineup this afternoon, sitting out against right-hander Johnny Cueto and the Reds.

Berkman described his calf as “tender” following the game and initially held out some hope that he’d be in the lineup today, suggesting it might not be particularly serious.

He was off to a great start this season, batting .375 with a 1.190 OPS through five games, but Matt Carpenter is now filling in for Berkman at first base and hitting cleanup. Carlos Beltran also has the day off.

When he does return, the 36-year-old Berkman may want to think about stopping at second base.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.