Rangers manager Ron Washington said Wednesday that he's excited about the arrival of Mike Napoli and is confident he can find a way to put all the pieces together so that everyone gets a chance to play and impact the team.
Washington stressed that the Napoli trade wouldn't keep Michael Young off the field.
"He's a key producer on this team," said Washington, who was with club president Nolan Ryan and CEO Chuck Greenberg in Austin on Wednesday as the Rangers were honored by the Texas House and Senate. "Michael is going to play and be a big part of what we're doing. We need him in the lineup, and he'll be there. This doesn't change that."
Washington said that when Napoli is the DH, Young would likely play in the field. Napoli can also play first against left-handers, leaving Young as the DH in those situations. Washington said he was pleased to have someone with versatility coming off the bench.
"Mike Napoli is a gamer," Washington said. "He can play some first base, DH, even catch if we need him. He's played on winning teams and knows what it takes."
Washington said Matt Treanor is the backup catcher heading into 2010, but that Napoli could see some games back there if needed.
"You can't predict the game of baseball," Washington said. "Injuries and other things pop up. We have to be ready for that. Everyone will get a chance to play. They may not play every day, but if they don't, it's not that they aren't a part of what we're doing. It just means it's their day off. Everyone needs a day off, and we have guys that can step in."