Buzz: No timetable for Berkman to play first

May, 1, 2013
5/01/13
6:14
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Lance Berkman will eventually play first base in a game this season. The question of whether he'll play there next week under National League rules in Chicago and Milwaukee is still a mystery.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said Wednesday that Berkman needs repetition at first base -- taking ground balls -- to prepare. But Washington also has said he's comfortable putting Berkman in the lineup at first base without him getting work there.

"He needs some repetition. We have to start getting him out there," said Washington, who added he hopes to get Berkman out for infield work soon. "You could put Berkman out there whether he's had repetition or not. I'm going to find out if he wants to play out there, and if he says he wants to play out there, I'm going to put him out there. You'd like to get some repetition before you put somebody into a position."

Berkman said Wednesday while it would help to take ground balls, it wouldn't be the same as being at first base in a real game. "The speed of the game is the real deal," Berkman said.

The Rangers will have to give up the designated hitter for Monday's makeup game at the Cubs and Tuesday and Wednesday at Milwaukee. Cold weather could also be an issue, though Milwaukee's Miller Park does have a roof to provide climate control.

Another issue could be taking Mitch Moreland's bat out of the lineup to make room for Berkman at first. Moreland is currently the Rangers' hottest hitter, batting .429 with six RBIs in his last nine games.

Other notes:

Pierzynski out again: Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, out Tuesday and Wednesday with a sore oblique, is an extra scout when it comes to his former team, the White Sox, after spending eight years with them. While Pierzynski sat by Washington for much of the game on the bench, the catcher wasn't offering up nuggets of information about his former team.

"He's was talking about anything and everything," Washington said. "Half of the stuff I couldn't understand."

Pierzynski said before Wednesday's game that the bruising in the area around his right oblique has improved and that he expects to play Thursday. Pierznyski took batting practice in the cages before the game.

Andrus is OK: Elvis Andrus is back in the lineup Wednesday after fouling a ball off his calf in the fifth inning of Tuesday's game. His calf stiffened up enough to where he couldn't move well to his left, which explains why Ian Kinsler was able to go all the way behind second base for a ground ball and get on out that brought on a full salute from Washington.

Kinsler said after the game that Andrus would usually be able to get to the ball.

"I don't usually foul the ball off my leg," Andrus said. "I've never had one like that."

Moreland in, Murphy out: Moreland was back in the lineup while David Murphy sat Wednesday. Jeff Baker was in left field to get his right-handed bat in the lineup against White Sox left-hander Chris Sale.

It's the first time either Murphy or Moreland have been out of the lineup for consecutive days. Moreland had three hits against White Sox lefty Jose Quintana and reached base all four plate appearances, giving Washington further reason to keep him in Wednesday's lineup.

"Logic would suggest that," Washington said. Murphy will play in left field Thursday against White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, the manager said.

Washington will reach quicker: Murphy will be a defensive replacement for Baker in the eighth inning if the Rangers have a lead in a close game Wednesday night.

Washington said he should have put Murphy in the game in eighth inning of Tuesday's 10-6 victory. Baker, still nursing a knee injury, had a ball fall into front of him in the eighth inning. Baker bruised his right knee making a sliding catch in the left-corner in Anaheim last Tuesday. He's still not 100 percent, he said after Tuesday's game.

"It took a toll on him," Washington said. "He's fine. I have to make my defensive replacement earlier."

No update on Olt: Daniels said the Rangers didn't have an update on Triple-A infielder Mike Olt, who reported vision issues to club earlier this week. Olt, batting .139 for 72 at-bats, saw doctors Tuesday.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182