ARLINGTON — Lance Berkman returned to baseball activities Friday for the first time since landing on the disabled list July 7 with left hip inflammation.It appears to be a slow recovery for the 37-year-old Berkman, but he isn’t viewing it that way.“I wanted to give everything a chance to calm down,” Berkman said. “I’m going to try and hit a little bit in the cage [Friday] and see how it goes.”Berkman hopes to begin running in the next couple of days, and then will determine his progress. It seems unlikely, however, that Berkman will be ready to return when he is eligible on Monday.Manager Ron Washington said Berkman will have to go on a medical rehabilitation assignment after staying away from baseball activities for more than 10 days.“I’ll agree with him, but we just have to wait until he starts doing things and see how he feels,” Washington said.Berkman started the season strong, batting .319 with 15 RBIs in the first month, but has been struggling lately. He had a .176 average over his last 20 games before landing on the DL.The Rangers will continue to rotate players at designated hitter. Jeff Baker served as the DH on Friday, his first game back from a monthlong DL stint.Ogando ready?If he gets through a bullpen session Sunday with no pain, Alexi Ogando will return to the rotation on Tuesday against the Yankees.Ogando, sidelined with right shoulder inflammation, allowed two runs on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts over seven innings in his latest rehab start at Triple A Round Rock on Thursday. He threw 80 pitches, 49 for strikes.“The issue is no pain in the shoulder,” Washington said. “If all that continues to go well, I think you can look for him to be back Tuesday.”No monitoringTanner Scheppers tied for the eighth-most relief appearances in the American League with 43 over the 95-game first half. Robbie Ross wasn’t far behind with 41.But manager Ron Washington doesn’t anticipate monitoring their workload any more than he did in the first half. Washington pointed to Joakim Soria helping offset some of the workload, as well as Jason Frasor establishing himself as a dependable piece in the bullpen.“[Soria and Frasor] are going to take some of the workload off those guys, but I’m not sitting here monitoring anything,” Washington said. “We’re trying to win the division and get into the playoffs and hopefully the World Series.”Briefly• Nelson Cruz missed Friday’s game with a migraine headache. Cruz had played in 92 of the Rangers’ first 95 games. A.J. Pierzynski batted in the third spot, and Leonys Martin started in right field.• Jurickson Profar started in left field Friday, his seventh straight start and ninth in the last 10 games. Not all of the starts have come in the outfield, but Washington said Profar has improved in left, although saying Profar will not see time in center or right field.• Former Rangers owner Brad Corbett, who died in December, will be honored by Rangers senior executive vice president Jim Sundberg as part of Saturday night’s Rangers Hall of Fame ceremonies. The Fort Worth businessman owned the team from 1974-80.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison