Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman made it clear earlier this season that he planned on rejoining the team after he once again went through the rehab process, opting against calling it a career. Berkman still plans on being activated by the Rangers, but he told reporters -- including T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com -- that he doesn't believe this will happen until after rosters expand on Sept. 1.
"In a perfect world, Sept. 1 would be tomorrow,"
Berkman said. "But it's not. The situation is a difficult one for the
organization. The roster, the way it is configured, doesn't lend itself to a
change because it would leave us short in other areas. The best thing for us is
to wait until Sept. 1, unless somebody gets hurt."
In addition to his chronic knee issues, Berkman has been dealing with inflammation in his left hip. He continues to recover from his injuries, telling reporters that, while his hip is progressing, his knee is just "OK."
If the Rangers activate Berkman prior to rosters expanding on Sept. 1, they'd have to make room for him by removing another player from the 25-man. If they wait until after Sept. 1, Berkman can be activated and added without requiring the removal of another player.
When he does come back, Berkman is expected to be playing a limited role for the Rangers. It won't be a familiar position for the former All-Star, who the Rangers signed in hopes that he'd be their regular DH. Still, it's a role he's willing to serve, and he could still prove an effective part-time DH or pinch-hitter off the bench.
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