ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas designated hitter Lance Berkman, who’s been on the disabled list since July 7 with left hip inflammation, realizes that unless his hip and right knee start showing some improvement, his season and career could be over.
“You’ve got to fish or cut bait and I think we’re getting to that point rather quickly,” Berkman said.
Berkman hit in the batting cages Tuesday and did some light running. He hoped to hit again Wednesday.
Berkman, who has hit .254 with six homers and 34 RBI, realizes that unless he can be a powerful presence for the Rangers he won’t be able to help the team. He doesn’t know if that will happen.
“Running is the main thing right now and I think mechanically my swing isn’t in a good place because of my knee, not because of pain, but because of the inability to put it in a position it needs to be to hit with any kind of authority,” Berkman said. “You can go up there and slap the ball around. That’s really not what we need.”
Berkman said he wants to get back on the field and try to reward a club that’s paying him $11 million this year. But Berkman, 37, wasn’t able to do any baseball activities while the team was in Cleveland because he wanted to try and give his body a couple of extra days to prepare. The biggest issue for him is with his right knee, which he can’t straighten out enough to generate any power.
“When we had him and he was healthy he was very productive,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “But he’s not that 22 or 28-year old that he used to be where something was wrong and he could still play through it. I just hope that he progresses to the point where he can get back and help us. It’s just not happening right now.”
Berkman is aware the Rangers need a bat and the trade deadline is tomorrow. He said he realizes the team could look different in a day or two and that could impact him. He’s preparing for anything.
“It’s getting down to where I need to be heading strongly back the field or headed back to Houston,” he said. “It’s not a good place to be in personally. It’s not a good place to be in for the team. I’ve got to try and figure some things out and move forward.”