ARLINGTON -- Lance Berkman is trying to decide if he can come back as a designated hitter, pinch-hitter or not at all. Berkman and the Rangers are also trying to decide if they should wait until Sept. 1 to activate him off the disabled list.
He was not activated on Friday as Berkman and the Rangers continue to talk about what's best for him and the team. Nothing has been decided yet as Berkman remains sidelined with inflammation in his left hip and a chronic sore right knee.
The only thing that anybody seems to agree upon is Berkman is not going to be 100 percent or close to it the remainder of the season.
"I don't have any concerns about playing, there are just concerns about being able to play at the high level I'm capable of," Berkman said. "If I do go out there, I don't know if I can be the positive piece the team needs moving forward."
Berkman has been on the disabled list since July 7. He has played four games on a rehab assignment and is 4-for-11 with a home run. He also ran well enough to score from second base on a single. But there are still issues with both the hip and the knee and the Rangers don't expect that to change.
"It is what it is," general manager Jon Daniels said, "I don't think anybody foresees any major changes. He's put the time in. It hasn't been for a lack of effort ... the question becomes what role will his legs allow him to play at a high level?"
One possibility is the Rangers could wait until Sept. 1 to activate Berkman and then use him mainly as a part-time player, either as a designated hitter or pinch-hitter off the bench.
If the Rangers activate him now, they would likely have to designate infielder Adam Rosales for assignment. They did that once this month and lost him temporarily when he was claimed off waivers by the Athletics. Rosales was with the Athletics for just a couple of days before the process was reversed and the Rangers claimed him off waivers. The Rangers are hoping not to make another move with Rosales before Sept. 1 when the rosters can be expanded up to 40 players.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.