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How much longer will the Rangers hit Michael Young fifth?

Jun 25, 2012, 6:56 PM EDT

Michael Young Getty Images

There are 178 players with at least 150 plate appearances against right-handed pitching this season. Michael Young ranks 172nd in the group in OPS:

169. Rickie Weeks (Mil): .580
170. Sean Rodriguez (TB): .576
171. Danny Espinosa (Was): .575
172. Michael Young (Tex): .566
173. Jamey Carroll (Min): .565
174. Orlando Hudson (SD/ChW): .562
175. Brendan Ryan (Sea): .530
176. Alexei Ramirez (ChW): .520
177. Clint Barmes (Pit): .493
178. Kurt Suzuki (Oak): .492

It’s safe to say no one else in that group would be hitting fifth for the Rangers ahead of Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli. Ron Washington keeps batting Young there, though.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News supplies some reasons for the Rangers to stick with Young as a No. 5 hitter.

Personally, I’m not buying it. Young is coming off an excellent 2011 season, but he’s 35 and barring a remarkable turnaround, 2012 will be the fourth time in six seasons that he’s finished with a sub-.800 OPS. That doesn’t mean he’s useless. He’s still hitting lefties very well this season (.361/.393/.458), and he seems like a fine choice to bat fifth against them. Versus righties, though, the Rangers are hurting themselves by continuing to bat him in the heart of the lineup. It’s past time for Washington to turn to Napoli.

  1. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Who else is not shocked that Evan Grant is defending Michael Young?

    Also, holy crap what a terrible use of statistics. If a career 105OPS+ is excelling, I’m guessing Grant is in support of Jack Morris’s HoF candidacy (105ERA+). The use of BA with RISP is not predictive, at all. Then he uses it as a comparison to Kendys Morales, who’s overall hitting better than Young but conveniently leaves that out and focuses on BA with RISP.

  2. beefytrout - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Is Napoli much of an upgrade?

    • beefytrout - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      I should have qualified my statement – I completely agree that Young should not be hitting 5th. If we’re going by OPS, plug Murphy into the 5 spot.

  3. jlovenotjlo - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Alexei Ramirez is #176. Yeesh, didn’t he used to be good?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:32 PM

      He’s always been an all-glove, no-bat guy which isn’t necessarily an issue because the SS position has reverted back to the pre-Jeter/Arod/Nomar/Tejada days.

      wRC+ since ’08:
      99
      86
      95
      96
      47(!)

      • Lukehart80 - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        The wRC+ you use show that Ramirez has fallen off this year, even if he wasn’t Cal Ripken at the plate before 2012. mid to high 90s for a shortstop are very respectable.

  4. billymc75 - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Napoli is a career .250 hitter last year was just a great year, Cruz is another Vlad he swings at everything he’s very inconsistent and streaky. Those three should prob be where they are, and prob should watch out for Martin.

  5. rooney24 - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Maybe they are worried that Young will cry about a different spot in the order like he cries when forced to switch positions (even when replaced by better fielders).

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