Surprise, Ariz. — Lance Berkman has joined the Texas Rangers’ injury report with a mild right calf strain. He is day-to-day, but it is not considered serious.“It’s slightly more than normal muscle soreness, but I don’t think it’s anything to worry about,” said Berkman, who had two right knee surgeries last year.“If it was the World Series, I’d be in there.”Berkman said the calf issue originated during Tuesday’s workout. He has been in rehab mode most of the off-season, and believes it came up because he is now in full baseball mode.As far as wearing a protective sleeve and taking those kinds of measures, Berkman said jokingly: “I’ll wear a sleeve and do all that hocus pocus they like to do on that kind of stuff.”The Rangers are keeping a watchful eye on the 37-year-old Berkman. He played in only 32 games last season, the fewest in his 14-year career. But the team is more concerned about Berkman being ready by Opening Day.“His head is in the right place,” manager Ron Washington said. “He doesn’t have to be ready until March 31, so he’s got plenty of time.”Garcia to WBC?First it was Jurickson Profar. Now it’s Leury Garcia who faces a World Baseball Classic decision.Garcia has been placed on the Dominican Republic’s provisional roster for the WBC, but is also a candidate for a bench spot with the Rangers.Garcia said it’d be a great honor to represent his country on an international stage next month, but won’t make his decision until talking it over with the Rangers.“I will see what the Rangers say and if I got a chance to make the big leagues, I might not go,” Garcia said. “Representing the Dominican would be a lot of fun, so we’ll see.”Profar wrestled with the same decision, and ultimately chose to stay in big-league camp rather than play with the Netherlands.Garcia, 22, is an intriguing bench candidate as he can play second, short and third base, as well as the outfield. And he is coming off a successful showing in winter ball.Garcia played in 37 games for Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, batting .285 with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 10 RBIs. In the DWL postseason, he batted .354 with 11 runs, three doubles and nine RBIs.“It was a really good experience,” Garcia said. “I learned a lot and played well.”Investigation updateAn ESPN.com report published Tuesday stated that the substances allegedly received by Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez were not banned by Major League Baseball, according to two anonymous sources.Gonzalez, along with Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, were among the big-leaguers linked in a newspaper report to purchasing performance-enhancing drugs from an anti-aging clinic in the Miami area last month.Cruz said he was unaware of the report regarding Gonzalez, and said he had no new information on his own matter since addressing it Friday.MLB has no timetable to complete its investigation.Intrasquad recapElvis Andrus isn’t losing any sleep after committing an error in each of the Rangers’ intrasquad games. In fact, he would have much rather been in bed instead of the backfield known as the “Nolan Ryan Field” on Wednesday.“It was super cold,” Andrus said. “I just want to stay healthy. … But these games are good for the pitchers.”A few pitchers stood out. Matt Harrison threw a scoreless first inning and Nick Tepesch and Joe Ortiz each struck out two in scoreless frames.The most impressive pitcher, though, might have been newcomer Josh Lindblom. The right-handed reliever struck out all three batters he faced with 11 pitches, nine strikes.“Today the biggest thing was my fastball command,” Lindblom said. “It was down on both sides of the zone. If you do that, you’re going to have success.”BrieflyThe Rangers have all 40 players on the 40-man roster under contract after agreeing to deals with Engel Beltre ($490,000), Julio Borbon ($496,000), Craig Gentry ($501,000) and Josh Lindblom ($500,100) on Wednesday.Derek Holland, Robbie Ross and Alexi Ogando will pitch in the Rangers’ Cactus League opener on Friday. Randy Wells and Michael Kirkman will pitch on Saturday, and Matt Harrison and Nick Tepesch are scheduled for Sunday.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison