Texas Rangers: Hank Blalock's Back

Jordan HofeditzAnalyst IJuly 18, 2008

Hank Blalock has played in 22 games in 2008. He is hitting .299 with three home runs and seven RBIs. But now he is healthy and the Rangers have been forced to make a decision.

When Blalock was expected to come off the DL about two months ago, there were reports that he would play first base. Texas had started the season with Ben Broussard at the position and got no production. Then Jason Botts and Frank Catalanotto couldn't get the job done at the position either.

So with Ramon Vasquez honorably holding down the fort at the hot corner, the Rangers hoped that Blalock could return, change positions, and bring new life into first base.

Then all that changed.

Blalock complained of a sore wrist that once again placed him on the DL with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. That forced the Rangers to bring up Chris Davis from Double-A Frisco to the show.

That has seemed to work out well for all involved. Davis has shown he can hold his own with the big boys. In just 17 games played he is pulling a .259 average with six home runs and 13 RBIs.

Those numbers have placed General Manager John Daniels and manager Ron Washington into a tough situation.

Three players, two positions.

Vasquez has played in 69 games this year, and over the past two seasons the Rangers have won more games with him in the lineup than with him out of the lineup, 62-45 compared to 48-62.

But the Rangers have made their decision and that will keep Davis at first, move Blalock back to third, and make Vasquez a utility man without a home once again.

This is probably the right move to make at this point. But look for Vasquez to reclaim his spot at third if Blalock can't shake off the rust of his time spent on the DL.