Lance Berkman feels good, ready for AL
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Lance Berkman said he expects to get most of his at-bats as the designated hitter but added that he feels good enough right now to play first base, if needed.
|Lance Berkman joins Ben & Skin to talk about winning over Rangers fans, his current physical condition and what he expects from the team this season. |
"Obviously, whenever you come off a year where you have two knee surgeries there's always work to do in terms of maintenance and getting to a strength level that will get me to perform at my best," Berkman said. "I like where I am in terms of the structural condition of the knee."
Berkman said last year, he knew he had a torn meniscus and tried to play through it.
"That's not the case this year," Berkman said. "There’s nothing structurally wrong, it's just a matter of recovering from the surgery and getting stronger. The surgeries last year fixed the problem."
Berkman, who turns 37 on Feb. 10, is confident he can get closer to his 2011 numbers. That season, Berkman hit .301 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs in 145 games. He also hit a big two-run single in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the World Series that tied a score the St. Louis Cardinals eventually won over the Rangers. They claimed the title the next night in Game 7.
Berkman doesn't think his age will keep him from having success.
"I think that No. 1, my statistics have never been artificially inflated," Berkman said. "You’re talking about a natural-type aging process. I think with advances in nutrition and weight training, you can stay healthy and strong and at a peak performance longer. I feel like my bat speed is still there, a big part of my game is plate discipline. You don’t lose the ability to judge the strike zone overnight."
The key for Berkman is staying healthy.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.