St. Louis placed starting second baseman Skip Schumaker on the disabled list with a strained right biceps that he suffered Friday and Nick Punto was activated to take his spot on the roster after being sidelined since late February following hernia surgery.
Schumaker’s injury likely pushed up the timetable on Punto’s return a bit, as he comes off the DL without going on a minor-league rehab assignment or seeing any action during spring training.
He was signed to be a utility man after spending the past seven seasons as Ron Gardehire’s favorite toy in Minnesota, but Punto could easily sneak his way into the lineup over other fill-in options Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene if manager Tony La Russa falls in love with his defense or just really, really loves when someone slides head-first into first base.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”