ST. PETERSBURG -- Ian Kinsler was at designated hitter on Wednesday, with Jurickson Profar getting the start at second base. Kinsler was filling a position that has produced a .722 OPS this season, which would be the lowest for the Rangers at DH since 1989.
The Rangers have had 12 different players start at DH this season. Lance Berkman leads with 65, but he's had just four since coming off the disabled list at the beginning of September. The rotation will continue the rest of the season, with Jeff Baker expected to start there on Thursday against Rays left-hander Matt Moore.
"I felt like today I needed to get one of my infielders off his feet," manager Ron Washington said. "I'm giving it to Kinsler today, and tomorrow with a left-hander, it will be Baker. When we get to Kansas City, we'll see."
Berkman is 0-for-12 in five games since being activated off the disabled list. He missed almost two months with inflammation in his left hip and a chronic sore right knee, and the inflammation limits him to batting left-handed. He started at DH on Tuesday and had one at-bat against right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. When the Rays brought left-hander Wesley Wright in during the third inning, the Rangers had to pinch-hit Berkman with Baker to lead off the fourth.
"He's still in the mix," Washington said. "I'm trying to get him some at-bats so he can get the feel for seeing pitches. I still feel he is one of those guys who can wake up on a cold snowy day and get a base hit."
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.