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Mike Olt makes Rangers debut as first baseman, No. 8 hitter

Aug 2, 2012, 4:13 PM EDT

Jean Segura, Mike Olt AP

Called up from Double-A late last night, Rangers prospect Mike Olt is making his big-league debut tonight starting at first base and batting eighth.

Olt was primarily a third baseman in the minors and projects as a good defender there long term, but the Rangers already have one of the league’s best all-around third basemen in Adrian Beltre.

As for who he’ll be replacing when he plays … that’s not clear based on tonight’s lineup because manager Ron Washington is using an odd group versus left-hander C.J. Wilson. For one thing, Mike Napoli is on the bench. Beyond that Ian Kinsler is at designated hitter, Michael Young is at second base, Geovany Soto is at catcher, and Craig Gentry is in center field.

Trying to draw any conclusions from that is tough, but Washington indicated to reporters that Olt will play mostly first base and designated hitter versus left-handed pitchers, at least initially.

Olt played exclusively third base during his first two pro seasons, but this year he’s appeared in 13 games at first base and three games in right field along with 78 games at third base. Clearly the Rangers were preparing him for a potential call-up and new defensive role, and they decided to pull the trigger last night after Olt hit .288 with 28 homers and a .977 OPS in 95 games at Double-A.

  1. beefytrout - Aug 2, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    All due respect to Ron Washington, but he really can frustrate the hell out of me. Assuming that there are no health issues involved, this really makes no sense. CJ is having a good year and the Rangers need their best lineup against him to keep the momentum going from last night, especially since the new guy Dempster is making his first start and our pitching as a whole has been pretty much shit this series.

    The Rangers just got Mitch Moreland back, and he’s swinging the bat well (not to mention the team running at a nice 7 runs/game clip since his return), and Olt may be a good player, but starting him over Moreland? Why not sit Young, keep Kinsler at 2B and DH big #18?

    • alang3131982 - Aug 2, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      But Moreland cant hit lefties. Why use him against a tough one. In 171 MLB PAs, he has a .219/.288/.284 line. Napoli should probably be playing.

      Heck, in a crappy year, Mike Young is hitting .322/.357/.407 against southpaws. that should be his new role…

  2. pound30 - Aug 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    The point is that CJ is a lefty and sitting moreland against a lefty is fine.

    • beefytrout - Aug 2, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Right… some kid making his MLB debut gives you a better shot.

      • baseballisboring - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:32 AM

        Well, he went 1 for 3.

  3. billymc75 - Aug 2, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Because Kinsler gets on and Young also hits the Angels well.

  4. angrycorgi - Aug 2, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Michael Young is at 2nd tonight?? Are we TRYING to throw the game?? Why isn’t MY at DH and Kinsler at 2nd?? Oh, no, wait…that would only make sense. Let’s do something crazy and stupid defensively. That’ll throw CJ off his game.

    Ron makes me wanna cry sometimes.

    • beefytrout - Aug 2, 2012 at 5:22 PM

      “All due respect to Ron Washington, but he really can frustrate the hell out of me”… where have I heard this before?

      • baseballisboring - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:35 AM

        You were making a different point and you were off base about it.

    • beefytrout - Aug 2, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      It’s a clear case of patented Wash overthinking…

  5. texasrug - Aug 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Ron is sitting Napoli against the only team he can hit

  6. sportsguygerald - Aug 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Damn, you would think that Wash is running a last place team instead of the first place team in the division. Just curious how many games any of the critics have managed? Washington has got them to back to back World Series, so he’s gotta be doing something right.

    • kinggw - Aug 2, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      Thank you voice of reason.

  7. greymares - Aug 2, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Mike Olt on the big team and Cliff Lee on waivers. anybody else suspicious ?

    • kappy32 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:51 AM

      Not happening. Do you believe the CIA killed Kennedy & there was a second gunman on the Grassy Knoll as well? If it were simple enough for a layperson fan to see, I’m sure the A’s & Angels’ front office sees it as well. Both of those teams have waiver preference over the Rangers & would put a claim in on him to block a move to Texas in a heartbeat. I would be surprised to see the A’s put in a claim on Lee to block him to the Rangers because of the real possibility, albeit slim, that the Phills allow him to just go to the claiming team for nothing in return just as what happened with Alex Rios and the White Sox; the A’s will not take on $78 million owed to Lee. The Angels most certainly would take that risk to block a move though.

      Nevertheless, don’t hold your breath seeing him go to Texas. There are at least 6 teams with waiver preference over the Rangers that would love to have him, so he isn’t going to clear waivers. If he goes anywhere, I see him going to either the Dodgers, the Red Sox, or to some unknown dark horse team such as the NY Mets. The Mets are playing possum, looking to add pieces going forward now that they have freed up money. Taking Lee away from the Phills would go a long way to showing their fans & their players that they intend on contending in 2013 & beyond. Whoever gets him has to take on his whole salary so the players going to Philly in exchange will not be top-level players. A package of Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy & one of their B-level pitching prospects (Jeryus (sp?) Familia, Jenry Mejia) would get the deal done in a heartbeat. The Phills need an OF (Duda) & a 3B (Murphy); plus, both Mejia & Familia have high upsides & could be front of the rotation type pitchers. If money isn’t an issue with NY, it makes complete sense. A rotation in 2013 of Santana, Harvey, Lee, Wheeler & Dickey is pretty damn formidable & makes them a completely new, exciting team overnight.

  8. delchef9 - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    What a shame!! He would have looked so good manning 3rd base in red pin stripes at CBP in Philly for the next decade….another missed opp. by Amaro.

    • kappy32 - Aug 3, 2012 at 4:59 AM

      It wasn’t Amaro, it was Daniels having half a brain. The Phillies won’t take even a penny of Lee’s salary, so why in the world would the Rangers give up their best position prospect for a player with 1 win at the time the deal was proposed. I’m sure Amaro would’ve done it in a heartbeat if it were a possibility. So long as the Phillies continue to insist on not taking on any of Lee’s remaining salary, they’re not getting anything good in return for Lee. The players the Phillies would look at getting are the ones I mentioned above; players like Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy & a B-level pitching prospect. That’s not a great haul for a top pitcher, but Amaro can’t have his cake & eat it too.

      • delchef9 - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:37 PM

        Only a complete idiot would pay somebody to pitchfor another team………….. good luck with Oswalt.

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