St. Louis Cardinals offseason acquisition Lance Berkman, expected to play the outfield regularly for the first time in five years in 2011, missed practice again on Saturday. The veteran slugger has been dealing with elbow soreness since Spring began, but the Post-Dispatch reports that Tony La Russa expects Berkman back on the field tomorrow, for the last practice before the opening of the team’s Grapefruit League season against the Florida Marlins.
Berkman, struggling with injuries and traded in midseason to the New York Yankees, hit a career-worst .248/.368/.413 in 122 games in 2010, which led him to accept a one year make-good contract with the Cardinals in the offseason. He last played the outfield regularly in 2004; he hasn’t appeared in the outfield at all since 31 games there in 2007.
The Cardinals’ reserve outfielders look to be platoon candidate Allen Craig, who’s spending most of his Spring Training time at third base, and center fielder Jon Jay, the presumptive starter in right field before the Berkman acquisition.