SURPRISE, Ariz. — The three-game series April 30-May 2 in Arlington will have different feel about it for A.J. Pierzynski, and the weekend series Aug. 23-25 at U.S. Cellular Field will definitely be unusual.But Tuesdays spring game against the Chicago White Sox, Pierzynskis first time playing against his old team, was nothing special.Its a spring game, the Rangers starting catcher said. Im sure itll be different when I go into Chicago on the visiting side.Pierzynski continues to speak to some of the friends he made in his eight seasons in Chicago, but said that he has felt at home in the Rangers clubhouse since Day One. He still has work to do before he is completely comfortable with the pitching staff, but theres plenty of spring training left.Its always difficult when you go into a new clubhouse with new guys, said Pierzynski, who went 1 for 2. The guys here have been awesome. Its been a fun camp.Injury updatesLance Berkman will make his spring debut Thursday as the Rangers designated hitter, said manager Ron Washington, and Colby Lewis will throw his first bullpen session since July on Friday.Washington confirmed the Berkman start after a couple days of speculation. Berkman has been slowed by inflammation in his right calf, but participated in all drills Tuesday.Lewis has been out since having surgery for a torn flexor tendon. He threw off the front of the mound Monday and will throw 20 fastballs Friday.Hes thrilled with is progress, but doesnt want to take any chances.The way I feel, I dont want that feeling to go away, Lewis said. I feel too good. I dont want to continue to push and push and push, and then something happens. I want to be semi-cautious about it.Swing of thingsMike Olt has a chance to make the Rangers Opening Day roster or, at the very least, cement his spot as one of the first position players to be called up from Triple A Round Rock during the season.Before any of that can happen, though, the prospect has to work his way through some early issues with his swing. He entered Tuesday hitless in six Cactus League at-bats, and had struck out four times.But a video session and a focus on the basics have put him back in his comfort zone. He hit a two-run homer in his second at-bat against Chicago.Im starting to feel a lot better, Olt said. I was trying to find my swing early on, and when youre trying to find your swing in the box, youre not going to do very well.Olt was trying to find more balance in his swing, and was trying to skip some steps in the process. For now, hell work on the swing tweaks in the cages and slowly implement them throughout the rest of the spring schedule.We just started a week ago, he said. Youve got to work hard in the cage and let it carry over naturally.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST