6/28/2013 9:00 P.M. ET
Berkman not in lineup due to sore right knee
DH slips coming off team plane; Andrus fills spot, with Profar at short
By Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Lance Berkman was out of Friday's Rangers lineup with a sore right knee after he slipped coming off the team plane Thursday.
Berkman said his left foot came out from underneath him as he was walking down the stairs to exit the plane. He said he twisted his right knee as his heel reached to the back of his leg. Berkman said he wore slick-bottomed shoes and there was a possibility the stairs were wet as well.
"Before I knew it, I was on my back kind of like a hurdler's stretch," Berkman said. "That's how I ended up. Thank goodness I had ahold of the hand rail or else I might've broken my neck, because I could've tumbled down the stairs."
Rangers manager Ron Washington didn't want to take a chance and sat Berkman, though Washington felt the veteran left-handed hitter could've played through the injury. Elvis Andrus was the designated hitter and Jurickson Profar started at shortstop.
"It's not an injury, but it definitely rearranged some scar tissues and cartilage and reacted negatively," Berkman said.
The Rangers were stuck in traffic for two hours after Thursday's game in New York and also dealt with a two-hour flight delay. Berkman said the team bus left for the airport at 4:30 p.m. ET and the plane didn't land until midnight CT.
"That was a bad travel day, period," Berkman said. "That's like nine hours and we gained an hour. We could've gone to Europe."
In other odd injury news, Washington said Jeff Baker will probably be sent on a rehab assignment whenever his right thumb heals. Baker was eligible to return off the disabled list after injuring the thumb on a celebratory high-five, but Washington said he's not ready.
"It's getting better, but it's not there yet," Washington said. "It could be any day. Today was the day he could've come off."
Ogando, Lewis continue rehab with 'pen sessions
ARLINGTON -- Rangers right-handers Alexi Ogando and Colby Lewis both threw bullpen sessions before Friday's game against the Reds.
Ogando threw 50 pitches and felt fine after his session. While his next step is unknown, Rangers manager Ron Washington said Ogando could start live batting practice sessions if his session went well. Barring a setback, Ogando would start his rehab assignment after live batting practice.
"If everything goes well, we might have to start setting up some live BP," Washington said. "If that goes well, we can send him out of here."
Lewis thinks he can return by the end of July if he doesn't have another setback. He spent a day with Double-A Frisco, then worked at Dr. Keith Meister's facility while the team was on the road.
"I thought I'd be back a little bit sooner, especially after coming back in Spring Training," Lewis said. "I felt really good coming out of that, but I've had a setback."
Washington wants to see Lewis throw more bullpen sessions before having a live batting practice session.
"He only threw 25 pitches [in his last session], and it was soft," Washington said. "When he get up there and start letting it go, then we can get to that part."
Matt Harrison has stretched his long toss to 90 feet this week and expects to reach 120 feet in the next few days. He expects to return during the end of August, barring a setback. Harrison said his back has improved over the last few months to the point where he's been able to work out and run outside.
"The biggest thing now is getting my arm back in shape and get in that game-ready routine," Harrison said. "I feel like I'm getting closer each day, but I've got a long way to go."
Wolf not seeing much action as long man in 'pen
ARLINGTON -- Ross Wolf hasn't pitched in nearly two weeks. For the Rangers, that's probably a good thing. Wolf threw two-thirds of an inning against the Blue Jays in his last outing on June 15.
"I understand my role as the long guy," Wolf said. "The last 10 days we've had close games, and that's what those guys are for. I have no control over it. Whenever [manager Ron Washington] calls on me, I'll be ready."
Wolf said he threw about 25 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday in New York. Washington wanted to use Wolf Thursday to pitch an inning or two, but Derek Holland threw a shutout against the Yankees. Wolf is 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA in eight games (one start).
"That's the role of a long man," Washington said. "With the games we've been playing the last nine, 10 days, it's been [Robbie] Ross, [Tanner] Scheppers and Joe [Nathan]."
• Yu Darvish on a possible All-Star selection this year: "If I don't get selected, I'll be able to have some rest. If I get selected, I'll be able to play with the greatest players in Major League Baseball. But if I haven't won this many games, I don't think I'll be selected." He's 0-2 in his last seven starts.
• Washington on Jurickson Profar playing in the outfield: "It's not ready yet, but it's coming along. I just got to wait for [coach] Gary [Pettis] to say he's ready to go out there. Hopefully we can get a ballgame where we're way ahead, or God forbid, we're way behind. If that happened, I think that'd be an opportunity to test it out."
• The Rangers announced the signings of three pitchers Friday. They signed 15th-round pick Cody Ege, 23rd-round pick Luis Pollorena and 25th-round pick Chris Dula. The club has signed 25 of its 41 picks.
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.