6/13/2013 8:14 P.M. ET
Moreland progressing toward on-time return
By T.R. Sullivan and Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Mitch Moreland, recovering from a strained right hamstring, said on Thursday that he's right on schedule to return from the 15-day disabled list on June 21.
Moreland ran the bases on Thursday, making turns and running straight through first base. He felt he's "80-90 percent running."
He added that Friday will be his big day on the bases, as he'll include more situations, such as running from first to third. Manager Ron Washington said that Moreland could face batting practice against Joakim Soria, who is also working toward a return from injury.
Moreland said that he hasn't had a setback since he was placed on the DL on June 6. Although there isn't a tentative date for his rehab assignment, Washington said that he will likely play a few games next week in the Minors before he's activated.
"We've talked about some things, but if it keeps progressing like it should, it won't be any longer than 15 [days]," Moreland said.
Ogando to resume throwing on Friday
ARLINGTON -- Alexi Ogando, who is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to resume throwing on Friday. It will be his first time throwing since being shut down last week in Toronto.
This is the second time that Ogando has been on the DL this season. He was sidelined from May 16 to June 5 with tendinitis in his triceps as he tries to transition from his role as a reliever last season back to his former role as a starter.
Despite Ogando's two trips to the DL, the Rangers still plan on using him as a starter when he returns. They might take it a little slower this time getting him back, but he is still considered a part of the rotation.
"He wants to be a starter, and he's good at it, so why shouldn't he be a starter?" general manager Jon Daniels said.
Colby Lewis is also planning on taking another step on Friday when he throws off the front of the mound. Lewis has been limited to playing catch and long-toss this week while waiting for the soreness behind his right elbow to subside, but this week has gone well, so he is ready to start climbing back up on the hill.
"Everything has gone really good this week," Lewis said. "I'm definitely encouraged by this week."
Lewis, who had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon on July 27, has made three rehab starts in the Minors. The most recent one was on May 25, with Triple-A Round Rock, and he was shut down after that because of the soreness.
Soria ready to throw batting practice
ARLINGTON -- Joakim Soria, who has been on the disabled list since the beginning of the season, is scheduled to throw batting practice on Friday at the Ballpark. Soria, who has been working out in Surprise, Ariz., joined the Rangers on Thursday and will be with the club for the rest of the homestand.
Soria is expected to throw two or three BP sessions. If those go well, he could begin a Minor League rehab assignment with the aim of joining the Rangers' bullpen at some point in July.
"I can't wait," Soria said. "I have been working hard in Arizona, but I'm really happy to get here and be around a Major League club again -- start living this life again, the atmosphere, getting excited for a game. That pushes me even more."
Soria spent five seasons as the Royals' closer and was a two-time All-Star before missing all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 3, 2012. The Rangers signed him as a free agent in the offseason with the hope that he would be recovered and in the bullpen by now, but he had a setback in May, when he strained a muscle in the front of his right shoulder. Now he is healthy again.
"It has been great," he said. "No need to worry about it any more."
Berkman brings veteran perspective to team's woes
ARLINGTON -- Lance Berkman hasn't gone through a regular season without dealing with offensive struggles, and the Rangers currently find themselves in that situation, scoring fewer than three runs in eight games this month. They trail only the Astros, who have accomplished the troubling feat nine times, in that category.
"It's fairly typical for any team to have a stretch like this," Berkman said. "You just try to minimize it."
Berkman said that in his experience, starting pitching has typically been the way out of a team's rough hitting stretch. He feels that starters need to go deep in their outings without allowing runs to keep the team in the game.
"As funny as it sounds, you need your starters to keep the thing close so there's an opportunity to break through," he said. "That's how you win baseball games."
Berkman added that scheduling can also help a team out of a slump. The ability to play every day gives players a chance to redeem poor outings. And even with the amount of young players on the Rangers, Berkman doesn't think that mentality changes.
"I remember as a young player, it doesn't matter if you're doing great or not doing great, you feel the same," he said. "You're trying to survive. You're trying to prove that you belong and establish yourself. It's really up to the veteran guys to keep an even keel and tell the guys to keep going out there, keep playing hard, and hope it turns around."
• Jeff Baker, who made his first start at second base on Wednesday night, has started at six positions this season, including designated hitter. He is the only player in the Major Leagues to do that. Baker had a 15-pitch at-bat against Indians closer Vinnie Pestano in the ninth inning on Wednesday. That's the most pitches in a plate appearance in the Majors this season.
• The Rangers have been told that pitcher Sean Labsan, a 17th-round pick from Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview, will not sign but instead will attend Florida Atlantic University. The Rangers have signed catcher Sherman Lacrus, their 27th-round pick from Western Oklahoma State.
• Pitcher Randy Henry has been activated off the disabled list at Double-A Frisco.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.