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August 26, 2013

Rangers plan to activate Lance Berkman, Neftali Feliz on Sunday

SEATTLE — Major-league rosters expand Sunday, and the Texas Rangers expect to reinstate designated hitter Lance Berkman and right-hander Neftali Feliz from the disabled list.

Manager Ron Washington said that Berkman and Feliz will be active for the finale of a three-game series against Minnesota, assuming they don’t suffer any setbacks the next five days.

Berkman accompanied the Rangers on their six-game road trip, and took batting practice yet again Monday at Safeco Field. He has been working out regularly while dealing with left hip inflammation, and he said that his swing and his running are as good as they’re going to be.

He will likely return without going on a rehab assignment.

“I’m ready right now,” he said. “I feel fine.”

Feliz pitched two perfect innings Sunday for Triple A Round Rock, and the Rangers are deciding between him pitching two more Wednesday or working one inning in back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday.

Washington said that Feliz won’t pitch more than an inning with the Rangers and is unlikely to pitch on consecutive days as he returns from Tommy John surgery.

He topped out a 93 mph with his fastball, and the Rangers don’t expect to see his usual velocity this season. They also will pitch him in low-leverage situations before giving him more meaningful outings out of the bullpen.

“He’ll have a role down there, but it won’t be prime,” Washington said. “We’ll use him so he can have some success. We won’t just throw him to the wolves.”

-- Jeff Wilson

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