Buzz: Lewis optimistic about late July return

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Right-hander Colby Lewis threw another bullpen Friday afternoon as he targets an end of July return.

Lewis is in a much more optimistic frame of mind than he was after a rehab start for Double-A Frisco on May 20, which was followed by another one five days later when he experienced right elbow soreness.

Lewis has been throwing "softly" in his bullpens, Rangers manager Ron Washington said. Washington added, "He has to start letting it go" before the team will have him start throwing against hitters in batting practice.

Lewis had a cortisone injection and since then he's been feeling much better than when he pitched in Frisco.

"I felt terrible that day," Lewis said. "I didn't think I was going to be able to get any big league hitter out. The time off and the injection has settled down the tendinitis. Now I'm getting more arm whip."

Berkman sits out: Designated hitter Lance Berkman was out of the Rangers' lineup for a second straight game Friday. Elvis Andrus was the designated hitter and Jurickson Profar was playing shortstop against the Reds.

"He's pretty sore," said Washington, who added that Berkman was available in a pinch hitting role Friday.

Baker not ready: Jeff Baker was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Friday, but manager Ron Washington said that the Rangers' utility man is "not there yet."

Wolf and rust: Long reliever Ross Wolf hasn't pitched since June 15 with the Rangers having played nine straight games decided by three runs or less. Washington said Wolf is doing as much as he can to replicate pitching in a game.

Ogando throws bullpen: Injured starter Alexi Ogando (right shoulder inflammation) threw a 50-pitch bullpen session Friday as he takes a slower than anticipated trek back the active roster. The next step for Ogando, who isn't expected back until after the All-Star break, is to be determined.

Harrison progressing: Left-hander Matt Harrison, recovering from two back surgeries, said Friday that he still has a few more weeks to go before he can throw off a mound. He's looking at mid-August at the earliest before he returns to the Rangers.

"It's been a normal last week and a half," Harrison said. "Each day it's getting a little better."

Feliz stays on schedule: Neftali Feliz will throw another bullpen Saturday as he continues to threw three 25-30 pitch sessions per week. Feliz has at least two more weeks of bullpens before he may pitch in a more competitive setting such as live batting practice, assistant general manager Thad Levine said.