For a month and a half at the beginning of the season, it looked like the Texas Rangers' off-season signing of veteran Lance Berkman had paid off.
But since about mid-May, the tables have turned the other for the ailing Berkman, who has two bum knees and a bad hip, making it a struggle to generate any power at the plate, especially from the left side — traditionally his more powerful side.
Berkman clubbed 31 homers in 2011, helping lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series win over the Rangers, but he played in just 32 games last season before hanging it up with the knee surgeries.
The Rangers talked him out of retirement then, and just before the July 31 trade deadline he had reportedly talked retirement again, but ultimately decided against it to try to get back on the field.
So far, the results haven't been what Berkman hoped for, but he is making progress since going on the disabled list back on July 9.
"Not being 100 percent ready to go on a rehab assignment is not what I’d hoped, but it’s not entirely unexpected," Berkman told the Star-Telegram.
The Rangers have been looking for help at the plate, but since Nelson Cruz's suspension on Monday they've actually been on an offensive tear thanks to singles and stolen bases. Even still, adding a healthy Berkman (if he can get to that point) back to the lineup could do nothing but good for the Rangers. If he could be back by September and have another month-and-a-half run like he did in April and May, he could have a huge impact.