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Clubhouse notes: Leadoff change?

4/18/2010

NEW YORK -- Rangers manager Ron Washington is giving Julio Borbon the day off and has Elvis Andrus inserted as the leadoff hitter. That's not unusual (Washington has done it previously this season). But he is leaning toward putting Andrus as the leadoff hitter and Borbon as the No. 9 hitter when the club takes on the Red Sox in Boston.

Borbon has the lowest batting average of any qualified hitter in the majors right now at .083 (3-for-36). His on-base percentage is only .108 and he has just one stolen base, so the Rangers are trying to find a spark from that top spot in the order.

Washington said he would decide at some point later today or tomorrow, but is considering it because it could take the pressure off Borbon.

"He's going to play," Washington said. "It would give him an opportunity to not feel like he has to go up there and put us on his shoulders. Whatever we can do to try to get him going, we've got to try to do. When this kid has got his game going, he can be a big threat."

Washington said he likes Andrus' patience at the plate and feels he can handle the leadoff role. Borbon didn't get a hit in Saturday's game and hit a first pitch fastball for a popup with the bases loaded early in the game. Washington was not displeased about Borbon's approach, saying that he was looking fastball up and got it, but didn't quite put the barrel on the ball.

Borbon said he's trying to clear his mind and will continue to work. More on that later.

Other notes:

* The Rangers will not break up the lefties in the rotation, opting to keep everyone on the same schedule. That means Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and C.J. Wilson will pitch against the Red Sox in Fenway Park. Washington said the club wasn't concerned about not pitching the lefties in Fenway, something some teams avoid. Monday is the last off day for the Rangers for a few weeks. They'll have 20 straight games starting Tuesday, so the rotation would likely stay like this for some time.

It means the lefties would both pitch in Seattle and against Kansas City at home in May.

* Washington said Matt Treanor is catching today because it's his day to catch, but he didn't indicate that Treanor would get more time with Taylor Teagarden struggling. Teagarden is 0-for-18 with 13 strikeouts and three walks so far this season.

* Ryan Garko is also in the lineup to spell Chris Davis. The Rangers are facing a lefty and Davis is 1-for-11 against lefties.

* David Murphy said he will take whatever time in the lineup he can get and if that means against left-handers, so be it. He's 1-for-6 against them this season. Murphy said his goal is to be an everyday player and to do that, he must show he can hit both right-handers and left-handers.