5/28/2013 2:12 A.M. ET
Berkman makes season debut in the field
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- For the first time this season, Lance Berkman played the field, starting at first base and batting third in Monday's nightcap of the Rangers' doubleheader against the D-backs of the National League.
The 37-year-old went 1-for-2 at the plate, walking twice and scoring two runs before being lifted for pinch-runner Mitch Moreland in the eighth.
"He handled everything," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We just wanted our best defense out there after he got his last at-bat."
In his first 44 games this year, Berkman was limited to designated hitter duties while recovering from two knee operations in 2012.
He is hitting .288 in 160 at-bats with four homers and 28 RBIs.
Last season with the Cardinals, Berkman played 23 games at first base.
Short-term memory key to Andrus' progress
PHOENIX -- Earlier in his career, Elvis Andrus didn't handle failure on the diamond well. When the Rangers' shortstop made an error that cost his team a run, it stayed in his head.
With all the natural ability Andrus possessed, it was difficult for him to forget his mistakes and move on.
Now in his fifth season in the big leagues, Andrus has started to grasp the concept of short-term memory.
"I'm still working on it, I know when you make an error, you can't really think about it, you can't get mad, just turn the page," Andrus said. "If you make an error and nothing happens in the inning, you take it easy. But when you make an error and they score, that's when I got mad because you know you're the reason.
"Now it's different, if you play every day you have to understand you're going to make errors. Just try to stay with the positives and turn the page on the negatives."
Andrus has had to implement that mantra recently. The 24-year-old made one error in the Rangers' first 45 games, but entering Monday, the shortstop had committed three miscues over his past four games.
"Sometimes he just losses his mental edge," manager Ron Washington said. "But the thing you forget about Elvis is that he's 24. He's still got a lot of upside, by the time he reaches 26 or 27 years old, he'll have it figured out. He already plays well beyond his years, we just expect more out of him because of his talent. He's a young kid still learning."
Despite his recent rough stretch in the field, Andrus still ranks second in the Majors in defensive Wins Above Replacement at 1.1, trailing only the Braves' Andrelton Simmons. Washington thinks sooner rather than later everything will click and translate into a Gold Glove Award for Andrus, who lost out to J.J. Hardy of the Orioles last season.
"He's got the potential to get one," Washington said. "Just has to be able to play through mental fatigue. Once he learns how to get through that, it's going to happen. The three or four mistakes he has made recently were because he was mentally tired. It's going to start happening for him."
Washington knows about coaching Gold Glove Award winners, too. Adrian Beltre has won two straight for the Rangers while Eric Chavez, who Texas faced on Monday, earned six consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 2001-06 in Oakland with Washington as a coach.
Individually, Andrus admitted winning a Gold Glove Award is high atop his list of goals for his career, but he knows it all happens with time.
"I think any player would want to win a Gold Glove, it means you're consistent and mentally ready every day," he said. "It comes with experience, for sure. You have to adapt to different situations."
Rangers need starters to work deep in twin bill
PHOENIX -- A day after using all but one of his eight relievers in a 13-inning loss to the Mariners, Rangers manager Ron Washington acknowledged the added pressure on his two starting pitchers to go deep during Monday's doubleheader in Arizona.
"It just depends on them," Washington said. "If they do their job, it's going to be fine. If they don't, knowing the situation we're in [with] our bullpen, then we'll have to pull out some magic. I don't want to be pulling out any magic, so I'm hoping they do their job."
Washington said he would like to stay away from Tanner Scheppers and Neal Cotts on Monday, but if the starters -- Martin Perez and Yu Darvish -- get pulled early, he won't hesitate to insert anyone into the games, including Joe Nathan, who has pitched on three consecutive days.
"There are guys I'd like to stay away from, but I'm not going to say I'm definitely going to stay away from them," Washington said. "We'll see where it goes. I don't think I'll run some of those guys out there for a whole inning, but if need be, they can come in and get an out."
Joseph Ortiz was the only reliever who didn't work on Sunday.
If things go wrong for either starter, one possibility for Texas would be to throw Justin Grimm for an inning. The right-hander last pitched Friday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday.
"That's something we've talked about, but if we decided to throw Grimm out there, it'd only be for an inning," Washington said. "We wouldn't extend him any more than that, but we will certainly do what we have to do.
• In the third inning Monday night, Yu Darvish struck out trying to sacrifice a runner to second base. The pitcher didn't immediately realize he was out though, as he thought the count was only 1-2. But on the first pitch of the at-bat, home plate umpire Vic Carapazza called a late strike that Darvish didn't hear because of a pick-off attempt. Adding to the confusion was the fact that the scoreboard in center field also read 1-2 after his final bunt attempt. Both Darvish and Rangers manager Ron Washington argued the call before retreating to the dugout.
"I thought I heard the umpire say ball, but when I looked at the video afterwards, he clearly called it a strike with a hand gesture," Darvish said. "I just didn't hear him. The screen also said ball."
• Alexi Ogando, on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right triceps, threw 57 pitches in a bullpen session Monday at Chase Field. The club will evaluate what the right-hander's next step will be on Wednesday. He could rejoin the rotation against Kansas City in Arlington this weekend or be sent out on a rehab stint.
• Following his start in the first game of the Rangers' doubleheader with the D-backs on Monday, Martin Perez was sent back to Triple-A Round Rock. Perez served as the 26th man on the roster for Texas, tossing 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits.
• Geovany Soto started his second consecutive game Monday afternoon, but Washington had A.J. Pierzynski back behind the plate for the second game of the doubleheader with Darvish on the mound.
• Even though he is in town, Washington doesn't expect to see right-hander Neftali Feliz, who is currently rehabbing at the club's Spring Training facility in Surprise, Ariz.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.