Lance Berkman has been on the disabled list since July 7 with hip and knee problems, but the veteran designated hitter said yesterday that he’ll wait until at least September 1 to be activated by Texas.
Berkman explained to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that waiting until rosters expand will make things easier on the Rangers, who otherwise would have to drop someone from the roster to make room for him.
Sullivan also notes that Berkman “would likely come back in a limited role, either as a part-time designated hitter or a pinch-hitter off the bench.” He feels good enough to come off the disabled list now, but is far from 100 percent healthy because his right knee “is not great, but it’s not going to be.”
Berkman didn’t show much power before going on the DL, but did draw a ton of walks and get on base at a solid .355 clip in 68 games.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.