Enough. Seriously, enough already.
The pathetic offensive output from an offense as talented as the Texas Rangers has got to stop immediately. Divisions may not be won in July, but the AL West can certainly be lost over the next two weeks if the Rangers don’t start hitting.
Patience has been attempted for the entire month of June, but as the calendar turns to July, patience will run out.
It’s time for a shake-up, and not something as impotent as calling up Julio Borbon.
No one is immune to this shake-up and some painful decisions will have to be made, starting with the logjam of outfielders.
The constant revolving of the outfielders needs to stop before any kind of consistency can be obtained. Andruw Jones is a bench player and pinch hitter. Either stick to that plan or put him in the lineup everyday. David Murphy and Marlon Byrd are essentially the same type of hitter, and when Josh Hamilton comes back the Rangers will have to make a decision.
Both Byrd and Murphy are better hitters than Hank Blalock and should be ahead of Blalock for the DH spot in the lineup. With Hamilton coming back, Murphy and Byrd should alternate between left-field and designated hitter.
And for heaven's sake, stop sitting Nelson Cruz just because he looks tired. Either he’s the right fielder or he’s not.
This lineup puts the Rangers best hitters on the field every night providing consistent at-bats for all of them. Now they just need a more productive batting order.
Michael Young and Josh Hamilton are the Nos. 2 and 3 hitters in any shake-up, but Hamilton will need some protection. Nelson Cruz provides the power to protect Hamilton and has yet to be given a real chance to be the cleanup hitter. It’s time to change that.
Marlon Byrd and David Murphy fit into the six and seven spots very nicely, followed by Jarrod Saltalamacchia at eight and Chris Davis at nine. This leaves leadoff and the five hole.
Elvis Andrus has given the Rangers the best overall at bats over the past month. Working walks, making solid contact and running the bases very well, especially for a 20-year-old rookie. Of the current Rangers hitters, Andrus is the most logical choice to leadoff.
Ian Kinsler is a very good line-drive hitter with some pop. He needs to be in a position to drive in runs on a more regular basis. Moving Kinsler into the fifth spot in the order injects a live bat into the middle of the lineup, providing a means to keep a big inning going from the top of the order, or to start a rally with the bottom of the order.
The Rangers new batting order would be as follows:
1) Elvis Andrus, SS
2) Michael Young, 3B
3) Josh Hamilton, CF
4) Nelson Cruz, RF
5) Ian Kinsler, 2B
6) Marlon Byrd, LF/DH
7) David Murphy, LF/DH
8) Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
9) Chris Davis, 1B
Is it perfect? No, but the Rangers have to shake this up and start hitting or they will lose the division despite the pitching enlightenment they've experienced thus far.
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