Rangers manager Ron Washington said Berkman was productive when healthy, and the manager was hopeful that the DH “progresses to the point where he can get back and help us.”
Sitting at his locker in the clubhouse, Berkman apologized for not getting up while talking to reporters. He said the bulky heat pad wrapped around his midsection wouldn’t stay in place while standing.
The Texas native is a .294 career hitter in his 15th major league season. He played for the Houston Astros from 1999-2010, part of their only World Series team in 2005. He spent the last part of 2010 with the New York Yankees before going to the Cardinals for two seasons, including their 2011 World Series title over the Rangers.
Berkman thought about retiring last offseason before accepting a deal from Texas worth $10 million. It includes a $12 million club option for 2014 with a $1 million buyout.
“’’I feel like these guys invested in me and I’d like to give them some type of return on their investment if I can,” Berkman said. “I want to do right by the Rangers.”
While the Rangers were in Cleveland over the weekend, Berkman remained in Texas and did rehab exercises without running or swinging a bat. He said he has been completely open with general manager Jon Daniels about how he feels and if he thinks he will be able to contribute.
All while facing the real possibility that he might not play again.
“It’s real tough. I’s a balancing act between, and I think every player comes to this point at some point in their career, to where you’re just mentally, like you still feel like you did when you were 25, but it’s hard to believe that physically you’re not that same person,” he said. “I have got to come to grips with what my true physical capabilities are at this point and then make a decision based on that, and not based on an unrealistic expectation of performance.”