Lance Berkman managed to stay off the disabled list despite injuring his knee last week, but the 37-year-old designated hitter tweaked his hip running to first base Saturday and the Rangers placed him on the shelf.
Rangers manager Ron Washington indicated that the combination of injuries gave Berkman little chance to be productive, so the team is hoping the time off is better than “putting a band aid on this and putting a band aid on that.”
Berkman got off to a strong start after signing a one-year, $11 million deal with the Rangers, but has hit just .176 in 20 games since June 1 while also taking quite a bit of time off.
And now the Rangers have Manny Ramirez playing at Triple-A as a potential designated hitter alternative.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.