Lance Berkman will serve as the designated hitter Wednesday for Double A Frisco, his fourth game of a rehab assignment, and his health and progress will be evaluated Thursday. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were no expectations that he would be reinstated by the disabled list Friday to open a three-game series against Seattle.
It could happen, said manager Ron Washington, but he wants to let the process work itself out before making plans for Berkman. After seeing the rehabbing Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison go down for the rest of the season in the past eight days, Washington knows not to look too far ahead.
"We'll see how he feels after this and make another call," Washington said. "We've got to leave him in the process. If we think he's ready, we'll make a call. If that's tomorrow, we'll make it."
Berkman is 4 for 10 in three games, and he homered in his first rehab game Saturday with Triple A Round Rock.
The Rangers fortified their rotation depth by sending cash to the Astros for left-hander Travis Blackley. The Australian, who was at Triple A Oklahoma City, will report to Round Rock and does not get a spot on the Rangers' 40-man roster.
Having lost Lewis and Harrison, and with no timetable yet in place for Nick Tepesch, the Rangers are looking at Ross Wolf, Josh Lindblom, Jake Brigham and Evan Meek if one of their five current starters is injured.
Blackley didn't start any games for the Astros this season, making 42 relief appearances and allowing 10 homers in 35 innings. He has allowed 7 of 37 inherited runners to score, and opponents are batting only .234 (30-128) against him. Lefty hitters are hitting just .200 (12-60) and .231 for his career.
Curiously, of Blackley's eight career wins, four are against the Rangers. Two of those came at Rangers Ballpark.
-- Jeff Wilson