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.

Phillies promote Chris Young to pitching coach position

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Chris Young joined the Phillies as their assistant pitching coach last offseason. This offseason he’s getting a promotion: the Phillies just named as their main (um, top? lead? alpha?) pitching coach for the 2019 season. He replaces Rick Kranitz.

Ken Rosenthal, who reported the promotion, says that the Phillies didn’t necessarily want to shake up their pitching coach situation, but that since several clubs wanted to hire Young away, it was either promote him to the top job or lose him. That’s bad news for Kranitz, but he remains under contract for 2019 and will, in the meantime, be allowed to interview elsewhere.

The Phillies pitching staff ranked 11th in runs allowed in the National League in 2018. They were tenth the year before that, but some early season uncertainty and mismanagement by Gabe Kapler and a late season collapse served to hide what was, for most of the season, a bit of a better staff than the year before. The Phillies obviously credit Young for that and want to keep him in the fold.