Rangers plan to activate Lance Berkman, Neftali Feliz on Sunday

Posted Monday, Aug. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Tonight’s game at Mariners, 9:10 p.m. TV/Radio: FSSW, ESPN/103.3 FM, KCLE/1460 AM, ESPN/1540 (Sp.) Rangers LHP Derek Holland (9-6, 2.95 ERA) vs. Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.98)
Wed.at Mariners, 2:40 p.m., FSSWPerez vs. Hernandez
Thu.Idle
Fri.vs. Twins, 7:05 p.m., KTXA/21Darvish vs. Hendriks
Sat.vs. Twins, 7:05 p.m., FSSWGarza vs. Pelfrey
Sun.vs. Twins, 2:05 p.m., FSSWBlackley vs. Correia

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Major league rosters expand Sunday, and the Texas Rangers expect to reinstate designated hitter Lance Berkman and right-hander Neftali Feliz from the disabled list.

Manager Ron Washington said that Berkman and Feliz will be active for the finale of a three-game series against Minnesota, assuming they don’t suffer any setbacks the next five days.

Berkman accompanied the Rangers on their six-game road trip, and took batting practice yet again Monday at Safeco Field. He has been working out regularly while dealing with left hip inflammation, and he said that his swing and his running are as good as they’re going to be.

He will likely return without going on a rehab assignment.

“I’m ready right now,” he said. “I feel fine.”

Feliz pitched two perfect innings Sunday for Triple A Round Rock, and the Rangers are deciding between him pitching two more Wednesday or working one inning in back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday.

Washington said that Feliz won’t pitch more than an inning with the Rangers and is unlikely to pitch on consecutive days as he returns from Tommy John surgery.

He topped out a 93 mph with his fastball, and the Rangers don’t expect to see his usual velocity this season. They also will pitch him in low-leverage situations before giving him more meaningful outings out of the bullpen.

“He’ll have a role down there, but it won’t be prime,” Washington said. “We’ll use him so he can have some success. We won’t just throw him to the wolves.”

Martin sits again

Center fielder Leonys Martin pleaded his case to return to the Rangers’ lineup for the opener of their three-game series against the Seattle Mariners, but Ron Washington gave him one more day to test and rest the minor sprain of his right ankle.

Martin was available to pinch-hit, pinch-run and be a late-game defensive substitution after running in the outfield and hitting in the cages with his ankle wrapped in tape. He still felt some pain when hitting.

“It doesn’t hurt when I run,” said Martin, who was injured Saturday in a ninth-inning collision with left fielder David Murphy. “But I feel something when I hit, but not too much.”

Washington said that Martin is going to have some pain, but will have to accept that it’s going to be there but no further damage will be done.

“That’s something he’s going to have to get through mentally,” Washington said. “He will.”

Craig Gentry started in center field a day after dropping a fly ball to snap his club-record 194-game errorless streak. Jeff Baker was in left field against Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders, and the left-handed-hitting Mitch Moreland got a rare start against a lefty.

Holland calms down

Left-hander Derek Holland doesn’t even have a mark where a line drive caught his left arm Wednesday as it buzzed past him into center field. His heart rate is also back to normal.

Holland admitted to being startled by the liner by Houston catcher Jason Castro, the American League player of the week, and he couldn’t regain his composure before being removed following consecutive walks.

“I’ve calmed down,” Holland said. “All I saw was a flash of white. I’ve been hit before, but not that close to my head.”

Holland should be calm Tuesday. He is 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA in 26 1/3 career innings at Safeco Field.

“No matter what ballpark you’re at, you’ve still got to execute,” he said.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson

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