Rangers notes: Lance Berkman says it’s time for him ‘to fish or cut bait’

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Lance Berkman knows he has to make a decision soon whether he can play again this season or call it a career.

As he put it, “You’ve got to fish or cut bait and I think we’re getting to that point here rather quickly. … I need to either be headed out on a rehab assignment and strongly back towards the field, or headed back [home] to Houston.”

It’s a difficult decision for Berkman, of course. He has played 15 seasons and compiled 366 home runs, 1,234 RBIs and 1,905 hits.

But the 37-year-old Berkman hasn’t progressed quickly from left hip inflammation that put him on the disabled list on July 7, and he is also battling mechanical issues in his swing and his ability to run with his surgically repaired right knee, which underwent two operations last year.

Berkman said it’s a balancing act for players as they get deeper into their careers if they can physically keep doing what they mentally believe they can.

“That’s the battle you have to come to grips with,” Berkman said. “What my true physical capabilities are at this point and make a decision on that, not based on an unrealistic expectation of performance.

“I don’t want to let this thing linger and linger because I’m not doing anybody good, myself or the team. There does come a point in time where you do have to make a decision.”

Berkman jogged on Tuesday afternoon, but said it didn’t go too well. He also planned to take batting practice outside, but instead swung inside.

Berkman could take batting practice Wednesday.

Berkman has had “full disclosure” in terms of his progress and mindset with Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, and knows that the team could try and add another bat by Wednesday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

“I feel honored that these guys gave me a chance and I want to do right by the Rangers,” said Berkman, who signed a $10 million contract this season with a $12 million club option or $1 million buyout for next season.

“I’m waiting to see just like everybody is if there is a deal to be made and what it is and what the situation looks like a couple days from now.”

Moreland sits

Mitch Moreland doesn’t feel the slump he’s in right now feels differently than any other. It’s a noticeable one, though, and Ron Washington gave his everyday first baseman Tuesday off.

Moreland is 0 for his last 23, 2 for 39 (.051) since the All-Star break and 17 for 112 (.152) since coming off the disabled list with a right hamstring strain.

“It’s been strange,” Washington said. “We know he’s definitely capable of giving more. It’s obvious what he’s not doing best and that’s using the opposite field. He has to get back to that.”

Moreland took early batting practice, working primarily on driving the ball the other way. He said he’s been doing that all season, and hopes it now can help get him out of a month-long funk.

“You go up there and keep working and battling,” Moreland said. “It can change in one pitch. The next pitch you see could change it.”

Slowing down

Martin Perez has a 9.00 ERA over his last three starts after a string of impressive starts. The rookie left-hander said his struggles are related to letting the game get too fast on him.

In his last start against the Indians on Friday, Perez lasted only three-plus innings, allowing the first five batters to reach in a four-run fourth inning. Perez said he began rushing through his delivery, and “overthrowing” that led to poor pitches in the middle of the zone.

“The last game is in the past, and this is a new game, new day,” Perez said. “From there, I have to continue to trust my stuff.”

Said Ron Washington: “When he learns how to corral his emotions completely, that’s when he’ll be a bad boy.”


• Right-hander Neftali Feliz, rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery in Arizona, has been scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on Thursday for the Arizona Rookie League. Feliz threw live batting practice with no issues Tuesday, and is approaching the one-year mark of his Tommy John surgery (Aug. 1, 2012).

• Monday’s walk-off victory marked only the second time in team history that the Rangers hit game-tying and game-ending home runs in the same inning. A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto share the honor with Bobby Jones and Ellis Valentine, who did it on Sept. 20, 1985.

• Class A Hickory outfielder Lewis Brinson, the Rangers’ first-round pick in 2012, has been placed on the disabled list. He was hit on the head by a pitch Monday.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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