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Lance Berkman says knee is about “80 percent” healthy

Feb 17, 2013, 11:43 AM EDT

berkman getty Getty Images

The Rangers signed Lance Berkman to a one-year, $10 million contract this offseason and plan to use him as their primary designated hitter in 2013. But he’ll have to be eased into that role this spring.

Berkman told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Sunday morning that he’s only about “80 percent” recovered from the dual knee surgeries that he underwent last summer with St. Louis. The Rangers are allowing him to work at his own pace in camp and are planning to hold him out for the first couple weeks of the Cactus League schedule.

“If we need to, we can get him at-bats in a minor league game,” said Rangers manager Ron Washington.

Berkman, 37, appeared in only 32 games last season for the Cardinals, batting .259/.381/.444 with two homers and seven RBI in 97 plate appearances. He hit .301/.412/.547 with 31 home runs and 94 RBI in 2011.

  1. insidefastball - Feb 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    I would be surprised if he even plays in 80 games this year. Texas really overpaid for this guy given his injury history in recent seasons.

    • hellboundglory9 - Feb 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Nah. It’s just one season for $11 million with a vesting option. That’s not exactly long-term and the Rangers have plenty of dough. I’m not seeing much of a problem, even if he does go down again.

  2. countduku - Feb 17, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    10 million for a 37 yr old dh, who was only able to play 32 games, hit .259, 2 hrs,7 rbis’s, and dual knee surgeries last summer. whoever his agent is that got him that contract should be up for agent of the year. Maybe Travis Hafner should have switched to his agent. (i have no idea who either of their agents are).

  3. jeffa43 - Feb 17, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    The upside is worth it… It was not Albert who won the series for St. Loui year before last. It was Lance that got them there and Lance and Freese won it.

    Solid signing, let’s hope Lance parlays this into a couple solid years.

    Nice work Nolan

  4. donniev77 - Feb 17, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    The signing seems a bit uncharacteristic for the Nolan Ryan led Texas Rangers. They normally don’t just throw money at aging veterans on the decline. You’d think they would want to give Mike Olt a shot to get his bat in the lineup and have a guy on the bench who can actually play the field.

    • jeffa43 - Feb 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      Astros short changed Nolan… And he went on to Texas to continue his career long domination.
      Astros offered Lance 5 this offseason. On top of them not offering anything before he went to St. Loui and got them a ring.

      I think there was a lot of heart in the decision+Nolan has the money+not a lot in the market to help replace Hamilton+
      His awesome team leadership.

      He is banking on history repeating on Astros bad mng moves.

      If healthy… As a dh could be one hell of a stick.

      • stex52 - Feb 17, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        I’m hoping he has one more season in him. Not a fan of the Rangers, but I agree that he has more upside than people are giving him credit for. I question the knees. But if he can heal, he still can hit.

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