Thursday, May 24, 2012

Big Puma Out Indefinitely, Matt Adams Debuts



Last weekend, Lance Berkman suffered a knee injury during a routine throw to first. Originally feared to be an ACL tear, team doctors think it is a torn meniscus in his knee. Today Berkman will have surgery to repair his meniscus and will get his ACL checked again for damage. Berkman will at least miss 6 to 8 weeks if things go well, and could miss the rest of the season if they don't. Berkman hinted at retirement if his ACL was torn. Hopefully it isn't, it would be a bad way to end a fantastic career.

Its a shame to lose the Big Puma to injuries, especially after all the injuries the Cardinals have dealt with recently. Currently, Allen Craig, Jon Jay, Chris Carpenter, Kyle McClellan, and Scott Linebrink are on the DL. On Tuesday, Matt Carpenter hurt his oblique and was placed on the disabled list as well. Carlos Beltran has also battled through some injuries, although not serious enough for DL time. The only good news is that Jay and Craig are due to come back at the end of the month. The Memphis Redbirds roster has been raided lately with Adron Chambers, Brandon Dickson, Matt Adams, and Stephen Hill coming up in the last couple of weeks.

In the first post Albert Pujols season, Berkman was expected to start at first and Craig to back him up. The Cardinals wanted to give Adams another year in the minors, and bring him up in September. With Berkman and Craig hurt now, the Cards had no choice but to bring up Adams. Now Matt Carpenter is out with a oblique injury, so its Adams job for the near future. Adams was tearing it up in Triple A Memphis this year. He was batting .340 with 9 home runs and 27 RBIs in 37 games.

Adams was considered the Cardinals first baseman of the future coming into this year after having a monster year in Double A Springfield in 2011. Adams hit .300 with 32 home runs and 101 RBIs last year with Springfield. Adams has rose through the system quickly since being drafted in the 23rd round in 2009. In his minor league career, Adams batted .318, slugged .558, had a .366 OBP, hit 73 home runs and 268 RBIs in 336 games. After having a terrific minor league career and at age 23, its safe to say that Adams is ready for the big leagues.

I have a feeling that Adams is in the big leagues to stay. He looks like a masher and from what I've seen he looks good on defense as well. If he hits anywhere close to how he did in the minors, there is no way he'll get sent back down. Until Craig and Carpenter come back, there isn't another good option at first. Mike Matheny could play Yadier Molina at first on his day off, and has talked about possibly playing Daniel Descalso there as well. After three games in the majors, Adams is 4 for 12(.286) with 2 walks, a double, and a RBI. The only thing he needs to work on is not swinging at balls out of the zone. That is a trait that will come with time and experience.

Despite how a teams plans in the offseason, you never know how a season will play out. I didn't expect Berkman to be limited to 13 games and to suffer a serious injury. I doubt the front office expected both Craig and Carpenter to be hurt at the same time. There is no telling how long Berkman will be out, and if he will play again this season. Although the front office prefered Adams to stay in Triple A this year, he is needed in the majors. Its not like Adams hasn't earned his promotion, he was batting .340 in the minors. Labeled the Cardinals first baseman of the future, it looks like that future is now.

Coming Tommorrow: Why Tyler Greene Should Be the Everyday Second Baseman

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