Maybe it's just spring soreness. But it seems like the situation with Lance Berkman's elbow is lingering.
And that's cause for concern because, while we figured Berkman would have some knee problems that might force the Cardinals to rest him a couple of times a week, if he can't throw he's virtually useless as an everyday player.
The Redbirds have had a dilemma on their hands about whether to move Matt Holliday to right field to allow Berkman to play less demanding left field. But, if Berkman can't throw, there's no way he can play right field or else opposing baserunners are going to abuse him like a rented mule.
I sure hope Berkman can get his elbow into serviceable condition, otherwise $8 million is an awful lot to spend on a glorified pinch hitter. And, with the pitching staff already hurting because of the loss of Adam Wainwright, the offense can't stand to lose one of its most important parts.
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While Berkman was once one of the most feared hitters in the National League, now he is a symbol of the Cardinals' recent trend of making risky gambles instead of producing fundamentally sound players of their own.
And, as much as I hope I'm wrong, I have a bad feeling this is going to be a bet that blows up in the club's face.