Cardinals to put Lance Berkman on disabled list, activate Skip Schumaker

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UPDATE: St. Louis is placing Berkman on the disabled list and activating Skip Schumaker from the DL to take his roster spot.

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Lance Berkman returned to the Cardinals’ lineup and played two games with a slightly torn calf muscle, but the first baseman suffered a setback while chasing a foul ball yesterday and said afterward that “the disabled list is a possibility for sure.”

Berkman explained to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that if resting the injury for a week while on the active roster didn’t keep him from aggravating it almost immediately a longer absence might be needed.

For now he’s officially listed as day-to-day, but general manager John Mozeliak hinted that a roster move may be coming and at the very least Berkman is unlikely to play again until next week even if he avoids the DL.

Berkman was off to a great start, hitting .348 with a 1.022 OPS in seven games, but the good news for the Cardinals is that rookie fill-in Matt Carpenter has batted .375 with five extra-base hits and a 1.120 OPS in 10 games.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.