Outfield talk: Julio Borbon and center
Washington was asked if Borbon was still penciled in as his center fielder, something the manager told the media at the beginning of spring training.
"I haven't changed my mind," Washington said.
Washington did acknowledge that Borbon has some more work to do to prepare for the season, which is fast approaching.
"He's getting better," Washington said. "He's working hard with Gary [Pettis, outfield coach] out there. We're still in camp and he's going to get opportunities to go out there. He knows what's on the line. We haven't kept it a secret.
"We see some deficiencies that we want to be corrected and we've brought it up to his attention and they're working on it. He's working hard at trying to correct them. That's what spring training is about."
But if Borbon's play doesn't improve to the point that the team is confident he can handle the center field job, they'll move Josh Hamilton to center and play David Murphy in left. Washington would prefer not to have the wear and tear on Hamilton's body, but said that's what the club would do if Borbon wasn't in center field.
"If that's what we had to do, that's what we'd do," Washington said. "He's one of the best center fielders in baseball. It's a lot of work out there and he's a big man. We want to keep him on the field as best we can. If that's what we had to go with, we'd have to live with it."
If the Rangers decide Borbon can't handle the starting center field job, he likely goes to the minors and will continue to work on his throwing mechanics and reading the ball correctly and taking the best routes. That would leave Craig Gentry as the backup outfielder, if he can get healthy by the time camp ends.
Murphy will get a look in center field so that he could spell Hamilton at times, depending on the ballpark. For instance, Murphy wouldn't play center in spacious stadium in Oakland. More on Murphy's thoughts on center a little later.
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