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Lance Berkman injured, Matt Adams to be called up Sunday

Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman has injured his right knee -- and, apparently, it's pretty serious.

Berkman jumped up like something bit him while trying to stretch for a throw at first base. He took a few steps and then fell to the ground. Berkman not only had to leave the game. He had to be helped from the field.

Shortly after the injury happened the Memphis Redbirds pulled slugging first baseman Matt Adams from the field and he, apparently, will be added to the major league roster Sunday.

It's a move the Redbirds didn't want to have to make. So it seems it wouldn't be happening if the club thought Berkman might be back anytime soon. Adams, as of Saturday, wasn't on the 40-man roster and he only had a few weeks of play at the Class AAA level beneath his belt.

Now his free agency clock will start to tick and the Birds will have to hope that he's ready to stick in the big leagues. Otherwise the Cardinals will fritter away time that they can control him while he's back in the bush leagues. 

Adams has done everything he could to prove to the Redbirds that he was ready for the big league club. He's hitting .340 with nine homers in 37 games this season. Last year he hit .300 with 32 homers and 100 RBI at Class AA Springfield. Just 23 years old, he's a .318 hitter in his fourth minor league season.

He's not a real quick guy. He's sort of a lumbering Adam Dunn sort more than an agile Keith Hernandez type at first base. At the plate, he strikes out more than twice as much as he walks. This year he was whiffed 27 times compared to nine free passes. In his career he's struck out 236 times and walked 102.

A week ago the Cardinals didn't know how they would find at-bats from Berkman, Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran. Now they're forced to make a hasty move to call up their best offensive prospect to try to plug all the holes in the middle of the lineup.