Lance Berkman cleared for rehab assignment, hoping to return Tuesday

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Lance Berkman told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart today that his surgically repaired left knee has “turned the corner” and he’s now scheduled to begin a brief rehab assignment tomorrow at Triple-A.
Berkman is expected to play two games in the minors and, barring a setback, hopes to come off the disabled list to rejoin the Astros’ lineup Tuesday against the Marlins. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove loose cartilage in his left knee on March 13.
“I’m glad to be making some progress and am finally good enough to go out and see how it does in a normal game,” Berkman told McTaggart. “I’m very hopeful.”
Geoff Blum and Pedro Feliz have been filling in for Berkman at first base, which in addition to being a massive downgrade offensively just helped cost the Astros this afternoon’s game against the Cubs thanks to a bone-headed defensive play by Feliz.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.