The St. Louis Cardinals have activated first baseman Lance Berkman from the 15-day DL, and he will play today against Tommy Hanson and the Atlanta Braves. The slugger will slot in the number five hole, and the calf injury that he has recovered from only allowed him to play seven games this year.
However, he got on base half of the time in those limited plate appearances. Shane Robinson was optioned by the Cardinals to make room for the star slugger’s reappearance in the team’s batting order.
Berkman is projected to have a 2.5 WAR year, which is half of what he was worth last season (5 WAR). That seems far too low for the 36-year-old left-hander who had a terrific 159 wRC+ last year, and I have him at 3.6 WAR.
In other news involving injured sluggers, Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis will throw, swing, and take grounders today. He started to play catch on Friday, and this is another good sign of progress for the slugger who has been the subject in more trade rumors. In fact, a National League special assignment scout told Nick Cafardo that the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and Tampa Bay Rays are looking at him. You can find my take on this here.
Youk is eligible to be activated tomorrow, but that is definitely not going to happen. There is no timetable for his return, but Youkilis could return next week.