ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 10: Lance Berkman #27 of the Texas Rangers hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 10, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
In the span of about two weeks, Lance Berkman has gone from contemplating retirement to deciding to rehab but being nowhere close to a rehab assignment to suddenly heading out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock over the weekend.
It was somewhat surprising to see Berkman back just days after he reportedly had made no significant progress in being able to run and take effective swings in the cage.
On Saturday night in his rehab debut, Berkman showed the power he'd been waiting months to find when he homered, singled and drove in two runs to help the Express snap a 10-game losing skid. Berkman has been on the disabled list since July 7 and was apparently pretty close to retiring just prior to the July 31 trade deadline.
"No one wants to be injured and I’m going to try to do the best I can given my circumstances,” Berkman told the Austin American-Statesman. “I feel like I made a commitment to the Rangers to try to help them if I can, and this is part of that process. This game was just another step in moving forward.”
Berkman's ailing hip and knees have given him trouble since he got off to a hot start for the first month-and-a-half of the season. Since about mid-May, his numbers have dropped dramatically and he was unable to generate any power, especially from the left side of the plate — traditionally his more powerful side to hit from.
On Saturday, however, in his second at-bat of the game, he blasted a 406-foot opposite-field homer to left-center from the left side of the plate. If Berkman can get healthy, and even just give the Rangers another month-and-a-half like he did the first segment of the season, the Rangers will get yet another big offensive addition to go along with the acquisition of Alex Rios last week.