The St. Louis Cardinals finally got Lance Berkman back Sunday afternoon, after a seemingly minor mid-April calf injury led him to miss nearly a month. Berkman was 1-5 in the Cardinals' series-ending loss to the Atlanta Braves, spending the entire afternoon at first base and striking out three times.
The Cardinals weren't exactly suffering at first base in his absence; Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter did an outstanding Lance Berkman impression in his stead. But with him back the Cardinals will be able to redeploy Carpenter as the primary backup at third base and Craig as Berkman's near-platoon-partner and the primary caddy for Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.
The Cardinals keep losing, but the depth gets deeper. Now, while Beltran and Berkman are both healthy, the Cardinals are left to wonder again just how to get enough at-bats for Craig, who's currently hitting .359/.413/.821.
More Cardinals coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:
- Is it time to worry about Adam Wainwright yet?
- If it is, we at least have a timetable for Chris Carpenter's return.