Cristian Guzman has been with the Rangers since the beginning of the month, obtained in a trade deadline deal while the club was in Anaheim. The trade was made in an effort to give manager Ron Washington someone with an experienced bat who could handle second base in Ian Kinsler's absence (and Kinsler may be out until Sept. 1 with the groin strain). But Guzman, 32, is 3-for-33 with two runs scored and no RBIs in nine games for the Rangers.
I know it's only nine games, but I wonder if Andres Blanco couldn't get a few more hits and give you a sure glove out there. Guzman had trouble fielding a chopper in the ninth off Derek Jeter's bat on Wednesday and I couldn't help but wonder if Blanco gets to that ball.
The Rangers made the trade to play Guzman, but he seems to be in a funk right now. Maybe splitting time with Blanco could help get him going. You never know. But I think it's time we see Blanco at second base to see if he can provide a spark there.
Some other thoughts:
* Judging by my inbox, many of you don't want to see Frank Francisco as the primary eighth-inning setup man. Francisco gave up the tying homer to Alex Rodriguez late in Tuesday's game and he gave up a leadoff homer to Marcus Thames in the eighth on Wednesday that cut the Rangers' lead to 6-5 at that point.
After losing his closer spot the first week of the season, Francisco settled down and became a reliable late-inning pitcher. But he struggled this week against New York. Washington does have Alexi Ogando, who has added a changeup to his resume, giving him three pitches and making him a little more effective. Certainly, Washington will use Ogando in late inning situations at times. I'm not quite as ready to give up on Francisco as some of you. He sure looked good during some key moments on the last road trip. This team will need him down the stretch. We'll see how Washington handles it.
* David Murphy can't come out of this lineup. So this team needs Josh Hamilton to be able to handle center field. He was asked about it after the Yankees series and said he makes sure to keep himself very hydrated in the heat and feels like he's just fine in center. Washington will still play Julio Borbon when he can, but right now, he's riding the hot hand and that means Hamilton has to grind it out in center.
* It was good to see Mitch Moreland get a hit and two RBI on Thursday. The Rangers have had next to nothing in terms of run production from first base. But Jorge Cantu has hit pretty well since he arrived and Moreland, at least to me, looks like has something. I'll be interested in watching him down the stretch.