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.

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.