ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) – It is understandable for Cardinals fans to become increasingly frustrated with Lance Berkman ever since he came off the disabled list on July 14.
The reason for the frustration is simple – he just isn’t ready to play at times. He has started to do better at the plate, but now there is a growing concern with his defense.
Berkman has committed an error while playing first base in back-to-back games and the errors are coming on routine plays. He messed up on a ground ball in the second inning on Monday which cost the Cardinals a run that scored on a three-run home run. He then goofed on a simple catch on a throw from shortstop Rafael Furcal in the first at-bat on Tuesday.
No big leaguer likes going back down to the minors whether it be because of poor play or to rehab from an injury, but sometimes it is necessary. Maybe a few games in the minors to get his feet wet again would have been a good thing for the veteran. These mistakes are costing the Cardinals at a critical time as they are slowly letting the division slip away.
It just doesn’t seem like Berkman is in midseason form (nor should he be after missing 47 games) and now it is easy to second guess the decision to bring him back straight to the majors.
Berkman has already committed four errors this season in 19 games played and is 4-for-22 since returning from the DL.
And he was knocked out of Tuesday’s game after taking an 84 mph slider to the right knee, the same knee he injured in May. This might be the time to give Berkman some extra rest. Hopefully he doesn’t go back on the DL, but if he does, he should have a stint at Memphis.