ST. LOUIS -- Hours after acquiring Rafael Furcal from the Dodgers, the Cardinals made two corresponding roster moves to create roster space.Infielder Tyler Greene was optioned to Triple-A Memphis in order to create a spot on the 25-man roster. "If he stays here, he's not going to play much," said manager Tony La Russa. "That's not good for him, or us." To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Cards moved pitcher Eduardo Sanchez from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Greene's demotion was not a surprise. He was the most recent addition, coming up Friday when the Cardinals placed Nick Punto on the DL with a strained left oblique muscle. But with Furcal's addition, the Cardinals' infield became too crowded for Greene. "He's the odd-man out for all the right reasons for him," La Russa said. "If you're going to be in the big leagues and not play, you're going to get a little short-term time in, and then lose in the long-term because you're not down there developing your skills." Likewise, the move of Sanchez is more procedural than any indication of a worsening in the right-hander's condition. Sanchez, sidelined with a right shoulder injury, has not pitched in 50 days and is not currently on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. Thus, his placement on the 60-day DL does not in any way alter how soon he could be reinstated to the active roster. The Cardinals hold out some hope that Sanchez could pitch again in 2011. Greene has struggled at the plate in a limited role with the Cards, hitting .196 (20-for-102) in 51 games. He does, however, lead the club with nine stolen bases. The infielder has done well with Memphis this season, hitting .328 with six home runs and 17 RBIs in 33 games. "He's having a good year down there," La Russa said. "He's got plus skills, everything about him is above-average."
Berkman returns to Cardinals' lineup
ST. LOUIS -- Lance Berkman was back in the Cardinals' starting lineup on Sunday for the series finale against the Cubs after missing four straight games with a right shoulder strain."He came in [today] with thumbs up," said manager Tony La Russa. "He's ready to go, he says." Berkman last played on Tuesday against the Astros but was pulled from the game after two at-bats with discomfort in the area of his right shoulder. The slugger originally felt something amiss during his last swing in Sunday's loss at Pittsburgh. He sat out on Monday against Houston before starting Tuesday, only to have the pain resurface. Berkman received a cortisone shot in his shoulder on Wednesday and has been receiving daily treatment from the team's medical staff. On Sunday, though, the six-time All-Star was back in right field and in his usual No. 5 spot in the batting order. He leads the National League with 27 home runs and is hitting .286 with a team-high 69 RBIs in 92 games this season, while getting on base at a .398 clip. Skip Schumaker and Corey Patterson saw time in right field over the last four games during Berkman's absence. Schumaker returned to the infield on Sunday, though, starting at second base and batting leadoff. Schumaker has been hot at the plate this month and entered Sunday's game leading the club with a .348 average (24-for-69) in July.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.