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Adams likely to get first MLB look tonight

Posted Sunday, May 20, 2012, at 8:55 AM


As Lance Berkman leaped into the air Saturday on a routine play at first base, every stomach in Cardinal Nation surely sunk to the ground.

A team that in this young season is already littered with injuries is facing another that could potentially be quite serious. It's possible that by the team you read this more will be known about his prognosis and replacement.

He is supposed to have an MRI tomorrow, but so far guesses have been quite pessimistic. He had knee surgery on the other leg in 2009.

Only moments, almost seconds, after Berkman's injury, first-base prospect Matt Adams was pulled from a Memphis Redbirds game in Las Vegas (about a one hour flight from Los Angeles). No word was been given officially that Adams will be the replacement, but he is the logical choice.

Some have questioned whether he is ready yet, given that he has only played in AAA Memphis for about six weeks. In those six weeks, however, he has hit .340/.375/.603 with nine homeruns, 10 doubles, 20 runs scored and 27 RBIs.

He's struck out 27 times in 152 at-bats, or about 18 percent of the time. That's not bad at all.

In 2011, in 115 games (47 LESS than an MLB season), he hit .300 with 32 homers, 101 RBIs and 23 doubles. Wow.

How he will do against major league pitching is still unknown, but many expect he will do fine with the transition. The difference between AAA and MLB is dramatic, but he will be able to handle it.

He may not do it immediately, however. I know many consider him the long-term replacement at first base, but expecting him to come in and hit four homeruns this week and bat .400 is unrealistic. I'm not saying he won't. I'm just saying be prepared to give him time to make the adjustment because this is much earlier than he or the organization expected to see him in St. Louis.

A few things to know about Adams:

1. He can hit.

2. When he hits, he hits hard.

3. When he hits hard, baseballs get destroyed.

Those are the three rules of Matt Adams. When he is on, you will love to watch him. He is a big guy (6'3", 230 lb. according to baseballreference.com) despite being only 23.

I don't want to make any more guess, but if what we have heard is true about him being called up, prepare to see all eyes on St. Louis.


To submit a question for the Balls & Strikes Mailbag, either e-mail cnoles@dailystatesman.com, call (573)624-4545, or fill out the form at dailystatesman.com/blogs/coreynoles/

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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