Just a few weeks ago, Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman was set to hang it up and retire after being on the disabled list since early-July with lingering hip and knee issues.
Even after changing his mind and going on a rehab assignment that saw him go 4-for-11 with a homer and a few walks, Berkman isn't coming up any time real soon.
Even though Berkman might be ready to roll again, the Rangers' lineup is pretty much set and things are going relatively well, meaning there's not really a spot for Berkman on the roster now. Rosters expand on Sept. 1, however, and Berkman would almost certainly be on the list to get a call-up.
"In a perfect world, Sept. 1 would be tomorrow," Berkman told MLB.com. "But it's not. The situation is a difficult one for the organization. The roster, the way it is configured, doesn't lend itself to a change because it would leave us short in other areas. The best thing for us is to wait until Sept. 1, unless somebody gets hurt."
Even when he returns, the results will be a big question mark. Berkman was highly effective as the Rangers' No. 3 hitter for the first month and a half of the season, but after that point his production was on a pretty steady decline until he hit the DL.
"We'll see. Until you go out there and do it, it's hard to say," Berkman said of what he might be able to contribute. "If I can help, I'm going to."