Returning to St. Louis is like returning home for Rockies first baseman Matt Adams.

Adams played for the Cardinals from 2012 to 2016, in addition to parts of the 2017 and 2018 seasons. It was the organization that drafted him in 2009, and developed him into the player he is today.

On May 7, before his first at-bat of the Rockies-Cardinals series, St. Louis fans recognized him with a hearty applause.

“It just shows that once you put the Cardinals jersey on once, you are a Cardinal for life,” he said. “They do a good job of welcoming the guys who have played for the organization and have gone on to other teams. They do the right thing of showing them love when they come back.”

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Adams was also on the Nationals team in 2019 that started the season 19-31 and turned it around to win the World Series. The Rockies, who are 12-22, have mentioned that team as an example that their season can get back on track too.

Adams said players have asked him what changed for the Nationals that year. Adams said the biggest thing was the camaraderie in the locker room, led by Aníbal Sánchez and Gerardo Parra.

“Knowing that we are a family for eight months of the year and we are going to battle as brothers,” Adams said. “We just want to go out there and do the best we can.”

Adams didn’t sign with the Rockies until March 28, and he spent the beginning of the season at the alternative site. Adams was called up April 29, and has since been used mainly as a pinch hitter. He has just two hits in 14 at-bats, but said that he feels like he’s in a good spot physically to be able to contribute.

“Everything feels good, just getting back into the routine of coming off the bench and making sure I’m ready to go when my name is called and I don’t put too much pressure on myself.”

Injury updates

Brendan Rodgers (hamstring strain) and Kyle Freeland (shoulder strain) are one step closer to making their season debuts.

Both reported in good health after playing their second simulated game Friday, and will head to Arizona on Sunday to extended spring training to see game-like action. Freeland will pitch four innings Tuesday or Wednesday.

Yency Almonte (hand contusion) was activated from the injured list before the game Sunday and Justin Lawrence was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

CJ Cron (lower back tightness) was held out of the lineup Sunday for the third day in a row. The team will see how he is doing Monday, then will decide if he needs to go on the injured list.

Carlos Estévez (finger strain) is not close to seeing game action and will not be ready to be activated when his 10 days on the injured list are up. They are hopeful he can begin playing catch this week.

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