ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals optioned outfielder Shane Robinson to Triple-A Memphis on Sunday to open up a spot on the 25-man roster for Lance Berkman, who had been on the disabled list with a left calf strain since April 19.
Berkman, who missed 21 games while he nursed the injury, hit fifth and played first base for St. Louis on Sunday. He finished 1-for-5 with a single and three strikeouts.
"I was pretty pleased with the at-bats for not having been in there," Berkman said, when asked about his timing. "It's just going to take some time."
He said he felt no discomfort in his left calf during his nine innings on the field.
Robinson will join Memphis on Monday after enjoying Mother's Day in St. Louis with his wife, Jessica, who recently gave birth to the couple's first child, Tinley.
Robinson was squeezed from a roster spot despite playing quite well during his time with the Cardinals. In addition to playing a solid center field, Robinson hit .311 in 23 games. He made eight starts.
"Shane plays a fantastic outfield and has done a good job putting together great at-bats in the limited time he gets," manager Mike Matheny said. "I was real impressed with him."
Robinson is in line to be the first player called up should the Cardinals need to replace an outfielder. He is likely to accrue regular playing time with Memphis.
The Cards went 11-10 during Berkman's most recent absence. Before landing on the DL, Berkman collected eight hits in 23 at-bats.