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.

Colby Rasmus signs a minor league deal with the Orioles

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Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that Colby Rasmus has agreed to a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles.

Rasmus, 31, played only 37 games with the Rays last year. The reason: the previous offseason he underwent surgery to repair his left hip labrum and his core muscle, and the hip continued to bother him throughout spring training. He began the season on the disabled list and made his debut on May 2, hitting .281/.318/.579 in 129 plate appearances before going back on the DL June 23. He’d never return, “stepping away” from the game in the words of the club, which placed him on the restricted list for the remainder of the season.