Lance Berkman activated from the disabled list

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After missing nearly two months following a right knee injury which required surgery, Lance Berkman has been activated from the disabled list. The Cardinals sent outfielder Shane Robinson down to Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding roster move.

Berkman, who had a meniscus tear repaired on May 25, was able to convince the Cardinals that he didn’t need a minor league rehab assignment after making it through a thorough workout on Thursday. While the 36-year-old is back from the disabled list, he’s not in the starting lineup this afternoon against the Reds. The Cardinals plan to give him regular rest, which should allow the hot-hitting Allen Craig to continue to get at-bats.

Berkman’s resurgent 2011 campaign earned him a one-year, $12 million extension from the Cardinals last September, but he has been limited to just 13 games this season due to calf and knee injuries.

MLB investigation confirms that the baseball has changed

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You know the baseballs are different. We know the baseballs are different. Pitchers have been saying the baseballs are different. And now Major League Baseball has acknowledged that the baseballs are different in a report of findings by a team of scientists from some of the top universities in the world, like Stanford, Caltech, and M.I.T.

You can read the whole thing here in PDF form. Here’s the gist …

The ball is not bouncier — or “juiced” — but it is most definitely carrying farther. From MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince …

Though the study did not discover meaningful changes in the ball’s lift, it found that the drag coefficient of MLB balls has decreased since 2015. The researchers used a physics model to calculate that if the change in home run rate was attributable entirely to changes in drag, one would expect the drag coefficient to have decreased by approximately 0.012. The exact change in drag coefficient in the time period studied — if you’re scoring at home — was 0.0153.

It’s not the seams or the core that has changed — those aspects were tested — and it’s not the weather either. In fact, the commision couldn’t figure out what is causing the decrease in drag, despite numerous tests on all elements of the ball. It might simply come down to manufacturing advancements. Looking at you, Rawlings …

“Rawlings is always trying to improve the manufacturing process to make it more uniform,” Alan Nathan, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign told MLB.com. “So the interesting question that comes up is whether the goal should be to improve the manufacturing process or to keep the ball performing exactly the way it is, regardless of whether it’s improved or not.”

Baseball Prospectus began studying this three years ago, as home runs began to increase around the league. Their write-up on MLB’s report is a must-read.