SURPRISE, Ariz. — Lance Berkman showed a glimpse of what he could mean to the Texas Rangers’ lineup this season.In his spring debut, the 37-year-old Berkman batted in the leadoff spot and started the game by drawing a nine-pitch walk. He went first-to-third on a double by David Murphy and then scored on a grounder by Nelson Cruz.Berkman singled and scored in his second at-bat in the second inning and ended his day by popping out in his third at-bat. It wasn’t as impressive as his lone regular-season start in the leadoff role back in 2001 when he went 2 for 5 with two home runs as the Astros’ starting center fielder against the Dodgers, but it will work.“I’m about where you’d expect after not having played last year,” Berkman said. “I saw the ball well, but the timing obviously is not there yet. Hopefully I’ll get into the rhythm of playing and the timing will come.”Berkman had no issues with his surgically repaired right knee or a minor right calf injury that slowed him earlier this spring as he ran the bases and swung the bat with no hesitation.Manager Ron Washington said he’ll likely use Berkman every other day for the time being until Berkman gets re-adjusted to game action. Berkman had only 81 at-bats last season, the fewest in his 14-year career.“Berkman set the stage,” Washington said. “Nice to see him go up there and show the ability that he has.”Outfield playRon Washington jots down notes throughout spring training games, and Mike Olt made the list. Olt, backing up Nelson Cruz in right field for the first time this spring, tracked down a fly ball by Drew Stubbs for the first out of the sixth inning.“He made a great play on it,” Washington said.Olt has been working daily with Gary Pettis on outfield drills that range from the most efficient routes to take to what bases to throw to in certain situations. Olt joked before the game that he wanted to show off his arm but warned that it wouldn’t come close to Cruz’s arm strength.“No, I don’t have a Cruz arm, but my arm feels good,” Olt said. “It’ll be good to get out there.”Injury frontColby Lewis will take another step forward today when he throws a bullpen session for the first time since his 2012 season ended with flexor tendon surgery in July.Lewis will throw approximately 20 to 25 pitches — all fastballs and sinkers.“Just another step and I want it to feel good,” Lewis said. “But the real key is I don’t want to have any residual effects the next day.”Engel Beltre, who is dealing with left shoulder soreness, felt better Thursday and will make a decision whether to play for Spain in the World Baseball Classic on Friday.“They need to know [Friday],” Beltre said. “We’ll see how I feel.”Craig Gentry said his left hamstring tightness felt better and should be available for games as early as Friday.And, as usual, a few more names joined the daily injury report given by assistant general manager Thad Levine.Thursday saw Yoshinori Tateyama and Joey Butler join the list with lower back stiffness. Both are day-to-day.Briefly• Reliever Jason Frasor will make his spring debut on Saturday. He hasn’t pitched all spring but said his arm feels great. “With a long spring training, why push it?” Frasor said.• The Rangers announced that 10 of their final 18 spring games will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest or KTXA/21. It begins with a Friday, March 15 broadcast on KTXA/21. Steve Busby and Tom Grieve will call the action on all Rangers TV games in 2013.• Randy Wells is scheduled to start Friday. Matt Harrison and Nick Tepesch will go on Saturday, and Justin Grimm and Martin Perez are slated for Sunday.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison