There's been many Texas Rangers wondering what happened to Lance Berkman, and bloggers have wondered the same thing, myself included.
Berkman, who has an ailing hip and knee and has made one start since early July after spending nearly two months on the disabled list, was in line to start Sunday's series finale against the Oakland A's. But the A's scheduled starter, right-handed pitcher Jarrod Parker, was scratched due to illness and was replaced by lefty Tommy Milone, meaning Berkman's shot at a start was off.
Berkman can't swing right-handed due to not be able to put that much torque and pressure on his left hip, but can swing left-handed, and he's shown that recently. In his lone start since returning from the DL on Labor Day in Oakland, Berkman went 0-for-4 but had three hard-hit balls, including an eighth-inning rope that could've easily been a game-winning double but instead was chased down by Eric Young in center field.
In Saturday's pinch-hit appearance late in the game against Oakland, he had another hard-hit ball, but it was right to Oakland's center fielder.
Now, he'll get another shot at starting against Tampa Bay righty Alex Cobb on Monday in Tampa when he will hit sixth as the designated hitter, and the Rangers need him to continue hitting the ball hard, but maybe find some gaps.