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Astros Place Lance Berkman on the DL

Lance Berkman has been placed on the 15 day disabled list with a strained left calf according to

Berkman has missed five starts with the injury, but the Astros had hoped he would heal quickly and could avoid a stint on the DL.

Berkman had an MRI exam and met with Dr. David Lintner on Tuesday, and had expected to return on Friday when the Astros open a three-game series with the New York Mets.

"We are in agreement that keeping Lance active will only put him in a position of wanting to help the club and re-aggravating the injury," Wade said. "I also spoke to Lance, and he understands. It's not easy to disable one of your key guys, but we want him strong for the stretch drive, so it's the right move."

Berkman, who has only been on the DL once before in his career, was disappointed by the move.

"It's for the best," Berkman said. "I want to be on the field, so I'm not happy about it, but it's for the best. I look forward to getting it right and getting back on the field in a couple of weeks. It's better to be out a couple of weeks than a couple of months."

In a corresponding move the Astros called up Edwin Maysonet from Triple-A Round Rock. But will this finally convince the Astros to be buyers? Because of their recent surge they are only 1.5 games behind the division-leading Cardinals in the NL Central. But general manager Ed Wade has conveyed that they won't be adding players or salary at the deadline. They could definitely use more pitching but they don't have many prospects to trade away. The dilemma is that if they don't add anyone else then their team will likely struggle to stay in the playoff race. Since they are not willing to be sellers the team is left in limbo, unable to commit either way. They do have a few players who they could trade off if they ever did fall out the race, namely Miguel Tejada and Jose Valverde. But it will be interesting to see if the front office is able to make up their mind.