Lance Berkman debuts as designated hitter

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Lance Berkman headshot.jpgLance Berkman, who missed the Thursday’s Grapefruit League opener due to a bruised left knee, made his exhibition debut against the Tigers on Friday night. Functioning as the club’s designated hitter, Berkman was 1-for-2 with a double and a strikeout:

“You can only do so much in the cage,” Berkman said. “You need to go out
there and get your feet wet, and it was a good start. I felt OK
running. [The knee] isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely playable. I think
we’ll be able to manage.”

Berkman is penciled in to play first base against the Braves on Saturday. While this is all well and good, I’m more interested in the controversy of whether Berkman’s knee was injected with shark cartilage or chicken comb. Turns out it was chicken comb.

Noah Syndergaard to disabled list due to hand, foot, and mouth disease

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MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports that Mets starter Noah Syndergaard will be placed on the 10-day disabled list because he contracted hand, foot, and mouth disease. The ailment is more common in children than adults and is caused by Coxsackievirus A16 or Enterovirus 71. According to James Wagner of the New York Times, it is believed that Syndergaard picked up hand, foot, and mouth disease working at a youth camp during the All-Star break.

Syndergaard, 25, started on Friday. He pitched well but lasted only five innings, throwing 84 pitches, because he had diminished velocity and felt tired. He yielded a run on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts. It was his second start since returning from a DL stint (strained ligament in right index finger) that kept him out between May 26 and July 12.

The Mets expect Syndergaard to need only the minimum 10 days to recover. Corey Oswalt will temporarily take Syndergaard’s spot in the rotation.

In 13 starts this season, Syndergaard owns a 2.89 ERA with 83 strikeouts and 15 walks in 74 2/3 innings.