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Intrasquad lineups: Ian Kinsler leads off

2/25/2011

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For the first time this spring, manager Ron Washington had to fill out a lineup card -- minus two regulars in Adrian Beltre (mild calf muscle strain) and Michael Young (not here for family reasons) -- and he did so with Ian Kinsler as the leadoff hitter.

Washington said this offseason in a story here that he was considering putting Kinsler back in that spot and at least for today's intrasquad game, that's where Kinsler is in the lineup.

"I enjoyed it and I'd love to do it for this team," said Kinsler about leading off. "It's very early, so we'll see. I'd love to hit in the first inning, but anywhere in this lineup there's going to be chances to drive guys in and to help guys behind me."

Kinsler was the club's primary leadoff hitter in 2009, batting .249 with a .320 on-base percentage. That year, he had more power than most leadoff batters, hitting 24 homers and driving in 69 runs when he hit in the No. 1 spot. Last year, he hit in various spots in the order, getting most of his at-bats in the 3-hole. Kinsler's home run and RBI production dropped (he also had less than 400 at-bats because of injuries), but his average (.286) and on-base percentage (.382) went up. He also has the speed to get himself into scoring position, a key to a leadoff hitter. He also makes contact and had one fewer walk than strikeout in 2010.

Elvis Andrus, the club's primary leadoff hitter in 2010, is listed as the No. 2 hitter in the order today. The rest of the lineups:

(Visitors)

2B Ian Kinsler

SS Elvis Andrus

LF Josh Hamilton

RF Nelson Cruz

DH Mike Napoli

1B Mitch Moreland

C Yorvit Torrealba

3B Chris Davis

CF Julio Borbon

(Home)

CF Engel Beltre

SS Andres Blanco

3B Brian Barden

1B Chad Tracy

C Matt Treanor

2B Esteban German

LF Endy Chavez

DH Taylor Teagarden

RF Doug Deeds

* C.J. Wilson and Dave Bush are the starters. Pitchers will go just one inning (or less than that based on pitch count).