Cardinals place Lance Berkman on disabled list, call up first base prospect Matt Adams

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According to the club’s official Twitter feed, the Cardinals placed Lance Berkman on the 15-day disabled list Sunday afternoon with a right knee injury and purchased the contract of first base prospect Matt Adams from Triple-A Memphis.

Berkman was pulled from Saturday’s game against the Dodgers after stretching awkwardly at first base to grab a throw from shortstop Rafael Furcal. The Cardinals aren’t sure exactly what his injury is, but they’re clearly thinking it’s fairly severe.

Adams was batting .340/.375/.603 with nine home runs and 27 RBI through 37 games this year for the Memphis Redbirds. He registered a .923 OPS, 32 home runs and 101 RBI in 115 games last season with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals.

Look for the burly 23-year-old to share time at first base with Matt Carpenter while Berkman recovers.

The Cardinals enter play Sunday with a 22-18 record, good enough for first place in the National League Central. But they have several key players who are hobbled and are stuck in a rut of poor starting pitching.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.