News and Notes:
- So far, so good for the Astros in 2012. Their surprising start to the year has been driven by a talented young core, a mix of old and new, the converted Brett Meyers, and an improved bullpen.
- Jose Altuve, a part of the young talent, was moved to the third spot in the lineup for yesterday's game against the Pirates and is expected to remain there for the remainder of the series.
- Though eligible to return from the disabled list yesterday Lance Berkman was not activated as hoped. The Cardinals' first baseman took batting practice but the lingering soreness from his strained left calf will keep him out of action for a while longer. A return date is still uncertain.
- Even without Berkman the Cardinals still can put out a potent everyday lineup.
- Welcome back Dale Sveum!
- There is always hope. Some just have higher hopes than others.
- Starlin Castro isn't interested in talking about a long-term deal with the club just yet.
- Good luck Rafael Dolis. Here's to more success than your predecessor.
- Matt Garza and the Cubs are apparently having discussions about a contract extension.
- The Pirates have acquired corner infielder Jeff Larish from the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations.
- Outfielder Alex Presley is slumping and also learning to adjust to his role with the club.
- There is no closer controversy in Cincinnati. Not yet anyway. Manager Dusty Baker is eager to get Marshallback out again soon.
The Brewers and Cubs continue their weekend series at Miller Park. Today's game will get under way at 12:05 p.m. CDT. Shaun Marcum (1-1) will start for the Crew. Chris Volstad (0-4) will start for Chicago. Volstad is still looking for his first win as a Cub. Let's hope he doesn't find it this afternoon.
The Cardinals play game two of their series against the Braves in St. Louis tonight in a game scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. CDT. Adam Wainwright (2-3) is scheduled to pitch for the Cards. Brandon Beachy (3-1) will make the start for Atlanta.
The Reds look to rebound against the Nationals after losing the opener of their weekend series yesterday night. Mat Latos (2-2) will start for Cincinnati against Jordan Zimmermann (1-3) and the Nationals. Tonight's game at Great American Ballpark is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CDT.