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Ron Washington intends to use Ian Kinsler out of the leadoff spot this season

Feb 26, 2011, 2:06 PM EDT

Ian Kinsler bat

Rangers manager Ron Washington raised some eyebrows earlier this week when he used Ian Kinsler out of the leadoff spot in the team’s intersquad game.

While Washington warned against looking too much into the decision at the time, he confirmed to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News today that Kinsler will indeed be his leadoff hitter this season.

“This just gives me versatility in the lineup,” Washington said. “I think I can get more out of it like this.”

Kinsler has a .284/.350/.492 career batting line in 1,248 plate appearances out of the leadoff spot. He was the team’s primary leadoff hitter from 2008-09. Elvis Andrus, who had 632 plate appearances out of the leadoff spot last season, will bat out of the No. 2 hole this year, while Michael Young will bat sixth.

While this is Washington’s ideal lineup on paper, Kinsler’s extensive injury history suggests that the Texas skipper might have to make some adjustments at certain points of the season.

  1. baseballisboring - Feb 26, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Meh. I’d probably just keep Andrus there honestly. The OBP isn’t as good, but the speed is better and Kinsler has more pop. I’d rather have Kinsler hitting behind Andrus than vice versa.

    • BC - Feb 26, 2011 at 5:05 PM

      Completely agree with you.

  2. spudchukar - Feb 26, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Put Andrus at #9, Murphy #2, Cruz #3, Hamilton #4, Beltre #5, , Moreland #6, Young #7, Torrealba #8.

  3. BC - Feb 26, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Mine would be
    Not knowing off the top of my head whether a couple of these guys are L, R or S batters. Hamilton will rake with those three guys in front of him, as well as Murphy. After the first inning, unless a dude is t

    • BC - Feb 26, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      COMMENT FAIL. Here’s the rest
      Unless a dude is throwing a perfect game, “leadoff hitter” means little. What you need is “guys who can get on base in front of Cruz, Hamilton and Beltre”. Batting #9, Murphy will get his share of that.

      • spudchukar - Feb 26, 2011 at 6:44 PM

        So would Andrus. I am trying to go righty/lefty. Putting Andrus, Kinsler, Murphy, and Cruz, who can all run ahead of the boppers.

      • gt929 - Feb 26, 2011 at 11:14 PM

        Over the course of a season, a lead-off hitter will get 100 or more PA’s than a #9, so it does make a difference. Also, Washington has already said Borbon will start in CF, leaving Murph as the 4th outfielder. BC, of the line-up you propose, Hamilton, Murphy, and Moreland are the only lefties (as is Borbon.) Myself, I prefer the order of Andrus, Young, Hamilton, Beltre, Cruz, Kinsler, Moreland, Torrealba, Borbon- possibly switching Kins & Young because Kins has more speed.

      • Mike Luna - Feb 28, 2011 at 9:53 PM

        I would put Kinsler 2 and MY 6.

        That way, when the order comes back around, you have Borbon, Andrus, & Kinsler as speedsters. Kinsler can also go deep and, if he doesn’t, he’s got Hamilton, Beltre, & Cruz behind him, who can all drive in the fast guys.

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