|St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman will be activated from the disabled list and will hit fifth when the Cardinals play the Braves on Mother's Day at Busch Stadium. - Photo courtesy of Getty Images|
The St. Louis Cardinals have played outstanding to start the season despite waiting for several players to return from nagging injuries.
Among those players is first baseman Lance Berkman, who will return to the lineup on Sunday as the Cardinals look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves.
Berkman has not played since April 18th after re-injuring his strained calf. Berkman has appeared in just seven games this season and has yet to hit a home run this year, just one season after blasting 31 bombs for the Cardinals.
Berkman's return means somebody must go to Memphis to make room on the 25 man roster and it looks as though Shane Robinson has drawn the short straw. Robinson was manager Mike Matheny's only right-handed option in center field and added speed off the bench.
Berkman's return gives Matheny flexibility to mix-and-match his multiple power threats. With Berkman's return, Matheny is giving left-fielder Matt Holliday his first day off of the season and has inserted Allen Craig into left field.
Craig figures to jump around between left field, right field, first base and possibly even third base on occassion. But maybe the most interesting possible lineup shuffle that Matheny could tinker with will be how he will employ Carlos Beltran and if he will use him on occasion in center field.
Baseball's second best offense gets a shot in the arm with the return of Berkman and Matheny now has more toys to play with in his potent lineup.